Salman Rushdie 4th novel, the Satanic verses will be our focus in this article.
Who is Salman Rushdie?
Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is an Indian -born Novelist whose work is in magical realism and historical fiction.
His work mostly center on the disruptions and migrations between Eastern and Western civilizations with a majority of it set on the Indian subcontinent.
The author’s writings led to death threats from mostly Iran in the 1980s. Salman Rushdie won the Booker Prize with his second novel,Midnight’s Children in 1981. His win made him deemed as the “the best novel of all winners” which marked the 25th and 40th anniversary of the Booker prize.
Salman Rushdie 4th novel which was titled The Satanic Verses and released in 1988 was greeted with controversy.
There was provoking protest among Muslims with death threats being issued against the novelist.
There were calls by fatwā and an assassination call being made by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Klomeini in 1989.
This forced the British government to put him under police protection. Salman Rushdie was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was equally appointed as the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 1999.
The Times in 2008 ranked Salman Rushdie as the thirteenth on its famous list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
Salman Rushdie 4th Novel: The Satanic verses.
The famous Satanic Verses is the fourth novel of the celebrated British-Indian writer.The novel was an inspiration by the life of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
It was first published in 1988 and the author just like previous ones before it used magical realism and also relied heavily on contemporary events and people. He used that to create the characters for the book.
The title of the book the SATANIC VERSES referred to a group of Quranic verses that talks about three pagan Mecca goddesses.
The book had positive responses from the UK, where it was published. The Satanic verses was among the finalist for the Booker Prize in 1988. It however misses out and placed second to Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda.
The Satanic verses however won the 1988 Witbread Award for the same year.
There was disquiet and controversies concerning the Satanic Verses among Muslims. They accused Salman Rishdie of blasphemy and mocking of their faith.
This outrage and condemnation even led to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Klomeini calling for Salman Rushdie’s death.
There were several failed attempts on his life, forcing the British authorities to put Salman Rushdie under police protection.
The attacks also included individuals connected to Salman Rushdie and that led to the death of translator Hitoshi Igarashi.
The Satanic Verses was banned in India with the excuse that it was hate speech directed towards Muslims.
The Satanic verses received favourable reviews from literary critics. In a 2003 volume of criticism of Rushdie’s career, the influential critic Harold Bloom named The Satanic Verses “Rushdie’s largest aesthetic achievement”.