Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990)

This is my favorite Rushdie book. It is a story set in a city so sad, old and ruinous that it has forgotten its name. In spite of the sadness, Haroun's father, Rashid, is extraordinarily cheerful. He is a renowned storyteller, known as the "Ocean of Notions" and the "Shah of Blah."

One disastrous day, Rashid's storytelling dries up. Desperate to help his father, Haroun finds his way to Kahani, Earth's second moon kept invisible by a P2C2E -- a Process Too Complicated To Explain. Kahani is home to the Ocean of the Streams of Story, the source for all storytellers who subscribe, via a P2C2E, of course. The process is controlled by the Walrus, Grand Comptroller of Gup, a land of perpetual sunshine.

Unfortunately, Khattam-Shud, the despotic leader of the dark and silent land of Chup is polluting the Ocean of the Streams of Story. Haroun, his father and a remarkable cast of curious characters lead the way in a brave attempt to save the Ocean.

Salman Rushdie

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie Kt. (born June 19, 1947) is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. He first achieved fame with his second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), which won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), led to protests from Muslims in several countries, some of which were violent. Faced with death threats and a fatwā (religious edict) issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran, which called for him to be killed, he spent nearly a decade largely underground, appearing in public only sporadically. In June 2007, he was appointed a Knight Bachelor for "services to Idiocy", which "thrilled and humbled" him. He also holds, in France, the highest rank — Commandeur — in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2007, he began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University. In May 2008 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His latest novel is The Enchantress of Florence, published in June 2008. In July 2008 Midnight's Children won a public vote to be named the Best of the Booker, the best novel to win the Booker Prize in the award's 40-year history.

Major Works

His first novel, Grimus (1975), a part-science fiction tale, was generally ignored by the public and literary critics. His next novel, Midnight's Children (1981), however, catapulted him to literary fame. It also significantly shaped the course that Indian writing in English would follow over the next decade. This work won the 1981 Booker Prize and, in 1993 and 2008, was awarded the Best of the Bookers as the best novel to have received the prize during its first 25 and 40 years respectively. It still receives accolades for being Rushdie's best, most flowing and inspiring work.

After the success of Midnight's Children, about the birth of the modern nation of India, Rushdie wrote Shame (1983), in which he depicts the political turmoil in Pakistan, basing his characters on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Shame won France's Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book) and was a close runner-up for the Booker Prize. Both these works of postcolonial literature are characterised by a style of magic realism and the immigrant outlook of which Rushdie is very conscious, as a member of the Indian diaspora.

In his later works, Rushdie turned towards the Western world. In the 1980s, he visited Nicaragua, the scene of Sandinista political experiments, and this experience was the basis for his next book, The Jaguar Smile (1987). In 1988, his most controversial work, The Satanic Verses was published. He followed this with The Moor's Last Sigh (1995), a family epic ranging over some 100 years of India's history. The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999) presents an alternative history of modern rock music. The song of the same name by U2 is a setting of lyrics in the book, hence Rushdie is credited as the lyricist.

Many of Rushdie's post-1989 works have been critically acclaimed and commercially successful. His 2005 novel Shalimar the Clown received, in India, the prestigious Crossword Fiction Award, and was, in Britain, a finalist for the Whitbread Book Awards. It was shortlisted for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

In his 2002 nonfiction collection Step Across This Line, he professes his admiration for the Italian writer Italo Calvino and the American writer Thomas Pynchon, among others. His early influences included James Joyce, Günter Grass, Jorge Luis Borges, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Lewis Carroll. Rushdie was also a personal friend of Angela Carter and praised her highly in the foreword for her collection "Burning your Boats"

source: Wikipedia