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Salman Rushdie

Probably the most influential British writer of the latter part of the 20th century was Salman Rushdie.  Midnight’s Children, which won the Booker Prize in 1981, was later twice awarded the Booker of Bookers as being the best work in the 25 and then 40 year history of the prize. There was really no questioning of this decision.

The work also firmly established in the mainstream of English writing the technique known as magic realism, which in essence turned the notion of fiction on its head. Whereas normally writers make up stories that follow the normal rules of life, so as to represent reality, magic realism breaks those rules, and in effect uses magic to increase our understanding of life. For this purpose it ignores the rules of real life, while sometimes introducing actual people and happenings into the text.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

January 2011
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