Indians Abroad

Salman Rushdie

Career Novelist and Essayist
Born On June 19th, 1947
Born In Mumbai
Nationality British Indian

Salman Rushdie is the favorite child of controversy. And, perhaps, he owns his fame and fortune, even notoriety, to his ability to rustle controversies either with his books or his numerous relationships and hardcore partying. He is one of the finest masters of English prose and both his fiction and non-fiction is noted for the intensity of the language. His writing style has been described as magic realism with a narrative structure that loosely follows the eastern tradition of oral storytelling, with a delectable blend of fantasy, knife-sharp satire, puns, wordplay and numerous digressions in the plot. A major factor that dominates his work is the essence of India, particularly his beloved Bombay. Though settled abroad, in London and Los Angeles, for more than four decades, his knowledge and love for India, the country of his birth, has never been on a wane. Nowadays, he is considered a doyen of Indian writing in English, for giving a unique voice to succeeding generations of Indian authors. His booker prize winning novel 'Midnight's Children' is his seminal work, often considered to be one of the greatest novels of the last hundred years. Naturally, be became the poster boy of Indian writing in English and his brilliant prose has legions of fans throughout the world.

Early Life
Salman Rushdie was born on June 19, 1947, in Mumbai, India to Anis Ahmed Rushdie and Negin Butt. He was the only son among four siblings. His father was a pretty successful businessman who settled in Bombay after graduating from Cambridge. His childhood was spent among books and even then he knew that he wanted to be a writer. He completed his primary education in Mumbai and at the age of fourteen he was sent to England where he completed his schooling from Rugby School. Later, following on the footstep of his father, Rushdie went to King's College, Cambridge to study history. It was here that he started grooming his writing skills. In 1968, after graduating from the university, he went to Pakistan, where his family had moved to in 1964, and settled in Karachi. There he worked for a brief time in television and then went back to England. In England, he joined a theater group as an actor. He also worked as a freelance copywriter for Ogilvy and Mather and Charles Barker for nearly a decade.

Salman Rushdie's first novel, 'Grimus', was published in 1975 but it was not received well by both critics and readers alike. The novel is a science-fiction fantasy. It is the story of Flapping Eagle, a Native American who is gifted with eternal life and goes into finding the hidden meaning of life. His next novel 'Midnight's Children', published five years later, is a gripping tale of India just after Independence and it received widespread critical acclaim. It was followed by 'Shame', a story based on the political turmoil in Pakistan.

He is most famous for his fourth novel, the controversial 'The Satanic Verses' published in 1988, not because of its literary merits but because of the storm it created in the Islamic world. Dubbed blasphemous because of its supposed insult to Islam and Prophet Mohammed, the spiritual leader of Iran placed a Fatwa on his head. For the next nine years he had to live underground, protected by the British government, and under continuous threat of death. In 1998, the Iranian foreign minister removed all the charges against Rushdie and from then he started living a normal life. After this incident he continued authoring several books among them the recent ones are 'The Enchantress of Florence' in 2008 and 'Luka and the Fire of Life' in 2010.

Personal Life
Rushdie had married four times. He married his first wife, Clarissa Luard, in 1976. With her he had a son named Zafar. However, after eleven years, in 1987, the marriage ended in divorce. He then married Marianne Wiggins, a noted American novelist, in 1988. The marriage was short lived and they divorced in 1993. He married for the third time to Elizabeth West and this time the marriage lasted for seven years from 1997 to 2004. With her he had a son named Milan. In 2004, he married the famous model Padma Lakshmi, which created a huge hype in media because of their age differences. Even this marriage proved to be brief and the couple soon broke up. After this he was linked to several notable women.

1947: Salman Rushdie was born.
1975: His first book Grimus was published.
1976: Married his first wife Clarissa Luard.
1981: His book 'Midnight Children' won Booker Prize.
1988: Married American novelist Marianne Wiggins.
1988: Protest and call for his death arise over the publication of 'The Satanic Verses'.
1995: Honored with the British Book Awards Author of the year.
1997: He was the married third time for Elizabeth West.
2004: He married the Indian American actress and model Padma Lakshmi.
2008: honored with the 'Best of the Booker' for 'Midnight's Children'