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Description - The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie

Moares 'Moor' Zogoiby is a 'high-born crossbreed', the last surviving scion of a dynasty of Cochinise spice merchants and crime lords. He is also a compulsive storyteller and an exile. As he travels a route that takes him from India to Spain, he leaves behind a labyrinthine tale of mad passions and volcanic family hatreds, of titanic matriarchs and their mesmerised offspring, of premature deaths and curses that strike beyond the grave. The Moor's Last Sigh is a spectacularly ambitious, funny, satirical and compassionate novel. It is a love song to a vanishing world, but also its last hurrah.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099592419
ISBN-10: 009959241X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 28mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie

UK Kirkus Review » A huge, and hugely imaginative work, which confirmed Rushdie as one of this country's finest talents. Taking the form of a family saga, the novel concerns the vicissitudes of the Da Gama-Zogoiby dynasty, as they feud and fornicate, rebel and reconcile, across a century of wider conflict and decay, from the 1870s to the present day. The eponymous Moor is Moraes Zogoiby, sibling of Ina, Minnie and Mynah, heir to the family's millions and narrator of this tale of lost opportunities. Some readers will search for political allegory (sectarianism, bigotry and superstition are all strong themes) but most will simply relish the book and will celebrate Rushdie not as a political phenomenon but as a writer whose prose style bursts with the playful unconstrained possibilities of language. Lisa Jardine, the eminent historian, declared that it 'weaves an extraordinary story about Portuguese merchants, Indian family life and the 15th-century pepper trade which is at once surreal, captivating and yet astonishingly accurate in its perceptions of those early days of international trade between East and West.' (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » This amazingly inventive fiction is - as all the world knows - its Indian-born author's first adult novel since Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini put a price on Rushdie's head in 1990 for the "offense" against Islam perceived in The Satanic Verses (1989). And, by the time you read this, it will almost certainly have won Britain's 1995 Booker Prize. It's the story of a deliriously mixed and conflicted, helplessly self-destructive family, the da Gama-Zogoiby clan of Cochin in South India, and later Bombay, whose herculean appetites and Machiavellian dealings mockingly embody the history of 20th-century India. That story is told by Moraes (a.k.a. "the Moor"), fourth child and only son of wealthy businessman and reputed crime boss Abraham Zogoiby (a Cochin Jew) and celebrated painter Aurora da Gama (a Portuguese Catholic), heiress to her family's spice fortune and a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement. "Moor," a veritable Scheherazade, records the tangled history of his multiform family - including, among other bizarre persons and events, his great-grandfather's philosophical mysticism, his maternal grandfather's "comic-opera efforts at importing the Soviet Revolution" to Cochin, and his homosexual great-uncle's misadventures as a transvestite - during what seem his last days: for Moor was born afflicted, not just with a deformed right hand, but also with a unique condition causing him to age at twice the normal rate (i.e., at 36, he's physically a 72-year-old); furthermore, he's being held hostage by his mother's rejected lover, an inferior artist who means to obliterate the aesthetic gap between them. That's the real point of this Rabelaisian extravaganza: That distinctions - between Catholic and Jew, Muslim and Hindu, even human and animal - are what set us at one another's throats and threaten to undo us. For sheer headlong inexhaustible inventive force and fury, there's been nothing like this in English since Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow in 1973. It's Nobel Prize time. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of eight novels, one collection of short stories, and four works of non-fiction, and the co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. The Moor's Last Sigh won the Whitbread Prize in 1995, and the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature in 1996. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

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