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Salman Rushdie

Uploaded by ritchied on May 11, 2000

There have been very few writers who have been dogged by controversy throughout their careers. Some have been persecuted in less enlightened times such as Mark Twain, and some have been ridiculed by the press like Edgar Allan Poe. Yet, Salman Rushdie was the first author in the free world to have been pursued from across continents and forced into hiding because of a death sentence by a foreign government. To say Salman Rushdie is a very controversial writer in today’s society would be a gross understatement. Rushdie in fact could be considered the ideal poster boy for absolute freedom of the press. It is not that Rushdie prides himself on being rebellious, he simply presents his ideas bluntly and it just so happens that his ideas address extremely volatile topics such as the Islam religion. Rushdie’s philosophy was eloquently put when he wrote, “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” Contrary to many great authors, Rushdie did not endure a traumatic childhood, suffer from alcohol addiction, or live with chronic depression. Instead, Rushdie actually had what many would view as a close to perfect upbringing. Rushdie was born in 1947 to a middle-class Moslem family in the great city of Bombay, India. His paternal grandfather was an Urdu poet, and his father a Cambridge educated businessman. At the age of fourteen, Rushdie was sent to Rugby School in England where he excelled in his studies. Rushdie went on to continue his studies at King's College, Cambridge, where he studied history. After graduating in 1968 he worked for a time with television in Pakistan as an actor with the theatre group at Oval House in Kennington. Then, from 1971 to 1981 Rushdie earned his living by working intermittently as a freelance advertising copywriter for Ogilvy and Mather and Charles Barker. Rushdie eventually began his literary career in 1975 when he made his debut with Grimus, a sort of fantastical science fiction novel based on the twelfth century Sufi poem “The Conference of Birds”. Grimus however received little fame and Rushdie truly broke into the literary world with his second novel Midnight’s Children, in 1981, which won him the Booker prize and international fame. This novel began his controversial persona as well. The novel is a comic allegory of Indian history that revolves around the life of its narrator, Saleem Sinai, and the one thousand...

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Uploaded by:   ritchied

Date:   05/11/2000

Category:   Biographies

Length:   3 pages (703 words)

Views:   2053

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