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Omar Khayyam Shakil had three mothers who shared the symptoms of pregnancy, as they did everything else, inseparably. At their six breasts, Omar was warned against all feelings and nuances of shame. It was training which would prove useful when he left his mothers' fortress (via the dumb-waiter) to face his shameless future...As captivating fairy-tale, devastating political satire and exquisite, uproarious entertainment, SHAME is a novel without rival.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099578611
ISBN-10: 0099578611
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Based on contemporary politics of Pakistan, this novel won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and was shortlisted for the 1983 Booker Prize. The shame of the title comes as the result of the political machinations of a nation. A black comedy of public life and historical imperatives. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » After Midnight's Children's helium giddiness of historical sweep and winning eccentricity, it isn't surprising to find Rushdie giving it another go in this fantasia manner; but now, through force of repetition, the result is far less buoyant. Instead of India, this new novel considers Pakistan - even if Rushdie plays peekaboo as to whether it is or isn't. (Likewise, to rather tiresome effect, he refuses to decide whether to present this as satire or bitter allegory, fact or fantasy.) Iskander Harappa is the Prime Minister we follow, along with his rival Raza Hyder, the President. And the grotesque, brutal, surreal situations applicable to both are continually braided: for instance, while Isky's monstrous, cold-hearted daughter Ironpants is the power behind the power, Raza's crazy daughter Sufiya - Shame - turns from imbecile to an avenging angel of slaughter-filled redemption. The final figure in the tapestry: Omar Khayam Shakil, son of three sisters who claim to jointly share his maternity; he's a fat doctor, a debauched sort, the eventual husband of Sufiya - and an emblem of all that's contradictory and outlandish about Pakistan. So Rushdie takes this quartet of characters through a series of pell-mell incidents, with pointed parallels along the way to the Bhutto and Zia eras of Pakistani leadership. Just like Midnight's Children? Well, yes and no - because this quasi-sequel, unlike its predecessor, seems effortful throughout, flogged on to ever-greater baroque, manic invention and exclamation. A hectic disappointment overall, though of obvious special interest to literarily inclined Pakistan-watchers. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of nine novels - Grimus, Midnight's Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury and Shalimar the Clown - one collection of short stories, four works of non-fiction, and is co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. He has received many awards for his writing including the European Union's Aristeoin Prize for Literaure. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In 1993 Midnight's Children was adjudged the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years.

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