Who is Salman Rushdie and why he is known for?

Asked 05-Sep-2018
Updated 05-Sep-2018
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Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist, born on June 19, 1947, in Mumbai, India. He is known for his bold and imaginative works of fiction that explore identity, religion, and politics. However, he gained worldwide fame after the publication of his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, which sparked controversy and made him a target of religious extremists.

Early Life and Career

Salman Rushdie was born into a Muslim family in Mumbai, India, but grew up in a secular household. His father was a successful businessman, and his mother was a teacher. Rushdie attended the University of Cambridge, where he studied history and later worked as a copywriter in London. In 1975, he published his first novel, Grimus, which received mixed reviews. His second novel, Midnight's Children, brought him critical acclaim and international recognition. The novel won the Booker Prize in 1981 and was later awarded the Best of the Booker in 2008, a special prize commemorating the award's 40th anniversary.

Who is Salman Rushdie and why he is known for

Controversy and Fatwa

In 1988, Rushdie published The Satanic Verses, a novel that was critical of Islam and its founder, the Prophet Muhammad. The book was immediately met with protests from Muslim communities around the world, and Ayatollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran at the time, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling for Rushdie's assassination. Rushdie was forced into hiding for several years and continued to receive death threats from extremist groups. The controversy surrounding the book made Rushdie an international celebrity and a symbol of free speech.

Later Life and Literary Career

Despite the controversy, Rushdie continued to write and publish prolifically. He has authored several acclaimed novels, including The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, and Shalimar the Clown. He was awarded a knighthood in 2007 for his services to literature and has received numerous other awards and honours for his work. In addition to his novels, Rushdie has also written essays, memoirs, and children's books. He has been a vocal advocate for free speech and has been involved in political and social causes throughout his life.

Conclusion

Salman Rushdie is a celebrated novelist and public intellectual known for his imaginative works of fiction that explore identity, religion, and politics. While he has authored many books throughout his career, his fame largely rests on the controversy surrounding The Satanic Verses and the subsequent fatwa issued against him. Despite the dangers he faced, Rushdie continued to write and publish and has become a symbol of free speech and artistic freedom. His literary contributions have left an indelible mark on the literary landscape and continue inspiring readers worldwide