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- Publisher: VINTAGE
- Format: Paperback | 288 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 30mm | 68g
- Publication date: 3 January 1998
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0099578611
- ISBN 13: 9780099578611
- Edition: 95000
- Edition statement: New ed.
- Sales rank: 26,292
Omar Khayyam Shakil had three mothers who shared the symptoms of pregnancy, as they did everything else, inseparably. At their six breasts, Omar was warned against all feelings and nuances of shame. It was training which would prove useful when he left his mothers' fortress (via the dumb-waiter) to face his shameless future...As captivating fairy-tale, devastating political satire and exquisite, uproarious entertainment, SHAME is a novel without rival.
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Salman Rushdie is the author of nine novels - Grimus, Midnight's Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury and Shalimar the Clown - one collection of short stories, four works of non-fiction, and is co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. He has received many awards for his writing including the European Union's Aristeoin Prize for Literaure. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In 1993 Midnight's Children was adjudged the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years.
"Salman Rushdie has earned the right to be called one of our great story tellers" Observer "There can seldom have been so robust and baroque an incarnation of the political novel as Shame. It can be read as a fable, polemic or excoriation; as history or as fiction... This is the novel as myth and as satire " Sunday Telegraph "Shame is every bit as good as Midnight's Children. It is a pitch-black comedy of public life and historical imperatives" The Times "Salman Rushdie is a magnificent writer. He has a free-ranging imagination and a coarse, strong wit. He attackes language with energy and without constraint" Independent "Shame is and is not about Pakistan, that invented, imaginary country... The theme is shame and shamelessness, born from the violence which is modern history. Revelation and obscurity, affairs of honour, blushings of all parts, the recession of erotic life, the open violence of public life, create the extraordinary Rushdie mood" Guardian
After Midnight's Children's helium giddiness of historical sweep and winning eccentricity, it isn't surprising to find Rushdie giving it another go in this fantasia manner; but now, through force of repetition, the result is far less buoyant. Instead of India, this new novel considers Pakistan - even if Rushdie plays peekaboo as to whether it is or isn't. (Likewise, to rather tiresome effect, he refuses to decide whether to present this as satire or bitter allegory, fact or fantasy.) Iskander Harappa is the Prime Minister we follow, along with his rival Raza Hyder, the President. And the grotesque, brutal, surreal situations applicable to both are continually braided: for instance, while Isky's monstrous, cold-hearted daughter Ironpants is the power behind the power, Raza's crazy daughter Sufiya - Shame - turns from imbecile to an avenging angel of slaughter-filled redemption. The final figure in the tapestry: Omar Khayam Shakil, son of three sisters who claim to jointly share his maternity; he's a fat doctor, a debauched sort, the eventual husband of Sufiya - and an emblem of all that's contradictory and outlandish about Pakistan. So Rushdie takes this quartet of characters through a series of pell-mell incidents, with pointed parallels along the way to the Bhutto and Zia eras of Pakistani leadership. Just like Midnight's Children? Well, yes and no - because this quasi-sequel, unlike its predecessor, seems effortful throughout, flogged on to ever-greater baroque, manic invention and exclamation. A hectic disappointment overall, though of obvious special interest to literarily inclined Pakistan-watchers. (Kirkus Reviews)