Midnight's Children

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Midnight's Children is a 1980 novel by Salman Rushdie. It centers on the author's native India and was acclaimed as a major milestone in Indian writing.

Midnight's Children is an allegory for the events in India after its independence in 1947 (see Partition of India). The protagonist and narrator of the story is Saleem Sinai, a telepath with a nasal defect, who is born at the exact time that India became independent. Saleem Sinai's life then parallels the changing fortunes of the country after independence.

The novel is also an expression of the author's own childhood, his affection for the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) of those times, and the tumultuous variety of the Indian subcontinent. The technique of magical realism finds liberal expression through out the novel and in fact, is crucial to constructing the parallel to the country's history. It has, therefore, been compared to the original exponent of magical realism, Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. The novel is also recognised for its remarkably flexible and innovative use of the English language, with a liberal mix of native Indian languages, this being a departure from conventional Indian English writing.

The novel ran into some controversy for its open criticism of Indira Gandhi, India's then prime minister and the "emergency" that she imposed on India.

The novel won the 1981 Booker Prize and was later awarded the 'Booker of Bookers' prize in 1993 - being the best novel to be awarded the Booker Prize in its first 25 years.

ISBN 039451470X.

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