Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
Adapted for the Theatre by Salman Rushdie, Simon Reade and Tim Supple
By Salman Rushdie
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780812969030, 144pp.)
Publication Date: February 18, 2003
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The original stage adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, winner of the 1993 Booker of Bookers, the best book to win the Booker Prize in its first twenty-five years.
In the moments of upheaval that surround the stroke of midnight on August 14--15, 1947, the day India proclaimed its independence from Great Britain, 1,001 children are born--each of whom is gifted with supernatural powers. Midnight’s Children focuses on the fates of two of them--the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman and the male heir of a wealthy Muslim family--who become inextricably linked when a midwife switches the boys at birth.
An allegory of modern India, Midnight’s Children is a family saga set against the volatile events of the thirty years following the country’s independence--the partitioning of India and Pakistan, the rule of Indira Gandhi, the onset of violence and war, and the imposition of martial law. It is a magical and haunting tale, of fragmentation and of the struggle for identity and belonging that links personal life with national history.
In collaboration with Simon Reade, Tim Supple and the Royal Shakespeare Society, Salman Rushdie has adapted his masterpiece for the stage.
Salman Rushdie was born in 1947 and has lived in England since 1961. He is the author of six novels: Grimus, Midnight’s Children, which won the Booker Prize in 1981 and the James Tait Black Prize, Shame, winner of the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, The Satanic Verses, which won the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which won the Writers’ Guild Award and The Moor’s Last Sigh which won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award. He has also published a collection of short stories East, West, a book of reportage The Jaguar Smile, a volume of essays Imaginary Homelands and a work of film criticism The Wizard of Oz. His most recent novel is The Ground Beneath Her Feet, which was published in 1999.
Salman Rushdie was awarded Germany’s Author of the Year Award for his novel The Satanic Verses in 1989. In 1993, Midnight’s Children was voted the ‘Booker of Bookers’, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In the same year, he was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. He is also Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His books have been published in more than two dozen languages.
“The literary map of India has been redrawn. . . . Midnight’s Children sounds like a country finding its voice.” —The New York Times
“One of the most important books to come out of the English-speaking world in this generation.” —The New York Review of Books