Born on 15 August 1947, at the precise moment of India’s independence from the British Empire, Saleem Sinai is celebrated in the press and welcomed by Prime Minister Nehru. As Saleem grows up, he realises he shares a fate with one thousand other children born in the initial hour of India’s independence: all are gifted with supernatural powers. Saleem’s gift is telepathy and his destiny is inextricably linked to one of these midnight children in particular – the son of a poor Hindu woman, with whom he was swapped at birth by a well-meaning midwife.
- Bound in buckram. Set in Photina with Pekin display.
- 560 pages; frontispiece and 8 colour illustrations.
- Book Size: 9″ × 6¼”
Rushdie’s seminal work is epic in scale, taking the reader from the courtship of Saleem’s grandparents in the early days of Gandhi’s resistance, through independence, partition, war and the imposition of martial law. Seen through Saleem’s eyes and narrated in his engaging, garrulous style, it succeeds brilliantly in blending personal life with national history, and exploring the struggle for identity that affects both – a duality exquisitely captured in Anna Bhushan’s watercolour illustrations.
Winner of the Booker Prize in 1981, and voted the Booker of Bookers in 1993, Midnight’s Children is a captivating allegory of modern India, combining a family saga with the volatile events which shaped this fascinating, complex and divided nation.
As Rushdie explains in his introduction, the origins of the book, and many of its characters, lie in his own childhood memories of Bombay. Funny, engrossing and haunting, Midnight’s Children is deservedly ranked among the greatest works in contemporary fiction.