Shame

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Overview

In this brilliant novel, Salman Rushdie masterfully combines history, art, language, politics, and religion. Set in a country "not quite Pakistan," the story centers around the families of two men-one a celebrated warrior, the other, a debauched playboy-engaged in a protracted duel that is played out in the political landscape of their country. Shame is a tour de force and a fitting predecessor to the author's legendary novel, The Satanic Verses.

Author Biography: Salman Rushdie...

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Shame: A Novel

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Overview

In this brilliant novel, Salman Rushdie masterfully combines history, art, language, politics, and religion. Set in a country "not quite Pakistan," the story centers around the families of two men-one a celebrated warrior, the other, a debauched playboy-engaged in a protracted duel that is played out in the political landscape of their country. Shame is a tour de force and a fitting predecessor to the author's legendary novel, The Satanic Verses.

Author Biography: Salman Rushdie is the author of seven novels: Grimus, Midnight's Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, and The Ground Beneath Her Feet. He has also published one work of short stories titled East, West and four works of nonfiction: The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz, and Mirrorwork (co-edited with Elizabeth West). His books have been published in thirty-seven languages.

"...There are 2 countries, real or fictional, occupying the same space or almost the same space. My story...exists, like myself, at a slight angle to reality."--Shame

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Towers
''Shame'' is a lively, amusing and exasperating work that will present certain problems for an American reader. . . .Cruel and ugly incidents and repulsive physical details throng the pages of the book. . . .[However] I found Mr. Rushdie's style a source of delight, a bright stream of words that lifted me happily past the most threatening snags and whirlpools. . . The New York Times
From the Publisher
"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." -- Malcolm Bradbury, The Guardian

"A pitch black comedy of public life and historical imperatives." -- The Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312270933
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.31 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie is the author of seven novels, including The Satanic Verses, The Ground Beneath Her Feet and Midnight’s Children for which he won the Booker Prize and the “Booker of Bookers.”

Biography

Born in Mumbai, India, and educated in the U.K., multi-award-winning novelist Salman Rushdie is considered one of the most important and influential writers of contemporary English-language fiction.

Rushdie freelanced for two London advertising firms before turning to a full-time writing career. He made his literary debut in 1975 with Grimus, a sci-fi fantasy that made a very small splash in publishing circles. However, he hit the jackpot with his second novel, Midnight's Children, an ambitious allegory that parallels the turbulent history of India before and after partition. Widely considered Rushdie's magnum opus, Midnight's Children was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981. (Twelve years later, a panel of judges named it the best overall novel to have won the Booker Prize since the award's inception in 1975; and in 2005, Time included it on a list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.)

Undoubtedly, though, the book that put Rushdie squarely on the cultural radar screen was The Satanic Verses. Published in 1988 and partially inspired by the life of the prophet Muhammad, this erudite study of good and evil won the Whitbread Book Award, but achieved far more notoriety when Muslim fundamentalists condemned it for its blasphemous portrayal of Islam. The book was banned in many Muslim countries, a fatwa was issued by the Iranian Ayatollah, and a multimillion dollar bounty was placed on Rushdie's head. The novelist spent much of the 1990s in hiding, under the protection of the British government. (In 1998, Iran officially lifted the fatwa, but threats against Rushdie's life still reverberate throughout the Muslim world.)

Even without the controversy inspired by The Satanic Verses, Rushdie's literary fame would be assured. His novels comprise a unique body of work that draws from fantasy, mythology, religion, and magic realism, blending them all with staggering imagination and comic brilliance. He has created his own idiom, pushing the boundaries of language with dazzling wordplay and a widely admired "chutnification" of history. His books have won most major awards in Europe and the U.K. and have garnered praise from critics around the world. Britain's Financial Times called him "Our most exhilaratingly inventive prose stylist." Time magazine raved, "No novelist currently writing in English does so with more energy, intelligence and allusiveness than Rushdie." And the writer Christopher Hitchens lamented in the Progressive that were it not for the death threats against him, Rushdie would surely be a Nobel laureate by now.

In addition to his bestselling novels, Rushdie has also produced essays, criticism, and a book of children's fiction. In 2007, Rushdie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. The citation reads: "Ahmed Salman Rushdie -- author, for services to literature."

Good To Know

Rushdie was short-listed for The Literary Review's Bad Sex Award in 1995 for The Moor's Last Sigh, which included such verses as "For ever they sweated pepper ‘n' spices sweat."

Rushdie participated in a two-day, U.S. State Department conference entitled "Why Do They Hate Us?" for 50 diplomats in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001.

Rushdie's first novel was a literate sci-fi fantasy entitled Grimus. Although it made only a very small splash in publishing circles, the book was deemed outstanding enough to be selected by a panel of distinguished writers (including Brian Aldiss, Kingsley Amis, and Arthur C. Clarke) as the best science fiction novel of 1975. However, at the last minute, his publishers withdrew the book from consideration, fearing that, if he won, Rushdie would never be able to shake the label of "genre writer."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ahmed Salman Rushdie
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 19, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bombay, Maharashtra, India
    1. Education:
      M.A. in History, King's College, University of Cambridge

Table of Contents

I. Escapes from the Mother Country
Chapter One -- The Dumb-Waiter
Chapter Two -- A Necklace of Shoes
Chapter Three -- Melting Ice
II. The Duellists
Chapter Four -- Behind the Screen
Chapter Five -- The Wrong Miracle
Chapter Six -- Affairs of Honour
III. Shame, Good News and the Virgin
Chapter Seven -- Blushing
Chapter Eight -- Beauty and the Beast
IV. In the Fifteenth Century
Chapter Nine -- Alexander the Great
Chapter Ten -- The woman in the Veil
Chapter Eleven -- Monologue of a Hanged Man
Chapter Twelve -- Stability
V. Judgment Day
Acknowledgments
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    Shame

    This book is based on the theme of shame . In it Rushdie tries to look at the various aspects of human life that are meant to be sources of shame.The main character is one who was born out of wedlock and thus has a source of shame. The story goes nowhere and descends into a series of wild events that are meant to be sources of shame . At the end the reader is bewildered at to what the story was all about. I don't know what Rushdie was trying to achieve. But the end result is ,as with all themes examined too much in detail, utter confusion with broad strokes of what we already know. It's a good read if you like the wild Rushdie style. It ,however, does get boring when all his books follow this vein.This is probably why 'the ground beneath her feet ' was not so well received .I think Rushdie has had his fiteen minutes of fame.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Underrated

    Doesn't get as much attention as his other books (for obvious reasons) but I think its the most well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    Excellent

    Shame was my fist Salman Rushdie novel, and my favorite. I believe that all Pakistanis should read this novel, because Rushdie has given us a satire that is on par with Swift, and we can learn much about what it wrong with Pakistani society/politics by reading it. Salman Rushdie is brilliant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2001

    A sense of living which deeply resonates

    Salman Rushdie has (for obvious reasons) greatly divided critical evaluation. Regardless of your nationality-you will hopefully find a deep beauty in this book- Though it is in parts grotesque-Rushdie's storytelling ability is what makes this such a great book-He has written in this book and also in 'Midnight's Children' and 'Satanic Verses' a very, very sad evaluation of man against man-Inhumanity and a manner of contradictions are vividly presented but a quirky Magick that is Salman Rushdie, is the reason I found this book so enlightening!

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    Posted August 7, 2011

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    Posted June 8, 2009

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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