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Salman Rushdie’s Shame is the story of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto told within the framework of magic realism. The novel deals with the culture of violence and shame which is portrayed through the protagonist, Omar Khayyam.
Summary Of The Book
Shame New Edition by Salman Rushdie is set in a fictitious town called Q. Although the story deals with the relationship between two very important political figures, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Rushdie disguises the names as General Raza Hyder and Iskander Harappa.
The plot deals with three sisters, Bunny, Chunni, and Munnee. All three sisters pretend to give birth to Omar Khayyam. But neither the reader nor the characters are aware of who Omar’s real parents are.
Growing up, Khayyam learns about hypnosis. An impish kid, Khayyam is allowed to leave Q in order to pursue his education. Under the tutelage of Eduardo Rodriguez, he trains to become a doctor.
The plot of Harappa and Hyder is revealed through Khayyam who encounters both of them. The story deals with themes like truth, shame and shamelessness, heritage, and parentage. The plot has various violent episodes which serve as the author’s critique of Pakistan’s political structure.
About Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie is an Indian British novelist whose works are a combination of history and magic realism.
His name is notoriously linked with the issue of fatwa that was ordered by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It was for his work The Satanic Verses. Rushdie is also known for his most famous work, Midnight’s Children. He won a Booker Prize for Midnight’s Children in 1981. Most recently Rushdie published, Joseph Anton: A Memoir which deals with his controversial life.
His books deal with the disruptions in a nation’s formation, migration policies, and continuous conflict between the West and East. He has always been unapologetic about his critiques and opinions which deal with the political state of Pakistan, Iran, and even India.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2007.The Times, in 2008, had ranked him thirteenth out of the 50 greatest British writers from 1945 to present.
Rushdie has always led a flamboyant life. From the issue of fatwa to his four failed marriages, he has always been on the news. He was diagnosed with ptosis or drooping eye syndrome which was operated and rectified in 1999. Currently, he lives in New York City alone.
Magical Realism at its best
2 Feb, 2012
Shame! in a tawdry yet magical avatar
1 Mar, 2015