Magical Realism in the Indian Style

rushdie1The book is Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie.

I should have written this post when the book was fresher in my mind. Though it probably wouldn’t have made much difference. The book was lengthy, and so densely packed in every sentence with outlandish imagery, with so many characters, and stretching over three generations to boot, that I can never do it justice in a summary blog post like this one.

I shan’t even try to describe it here except to say that it was one of the most universally enjoyed and praised books that the Austin Athenaeum has ever read. The book rightly received the awards it received, and launched Rushdie into literary stardom in 1981.

Winner of the Man Booker Award, and then the “Booker of Bookers,” Midnight’s Children is the story of the Sinai family during The Partition of India in 1947, beginning with the narrator’s grandfather and telling a story full of magical realism which is highly complex although apparently masterfully planned in every detail as dozens of references continually reappear from beginning to end.

None of us could remember coming to the table with as much enthusiasm for a book in a long time. rushdie-MC

We met in Randy’s company warehouse and brought in about 8 pizzas, and several coolers of beer. We enjoyed the peacefulness, the freedom to drink whiskey we’d brought if we wanted without waiters giving us shit about it. And it was only a little warmer than would be ideal. Comments in emails sent in the following days however expressed wistfully the loss of being out in the community, chance conversations, the buzz of a venue. We will continue to consider where we will settle.

The vote for July’s book was Gordon Wood’s The Radicalism of the American Revolution, a Pulitzer winner, and a copy of which Randy bequeathed to everyone present at the December meeting as a gift.

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