Author: Salman Rushdie.
The final novel from my British Lit class comes from the pen of Salman Rushdie. This novel was released during a very uncertain time in Rushdie’s life. He wrote this during his time in exile when he had to hide from individuals who threatened his life after the publication of his Santanic Verses.
This children’s novel comes as a response to the censorship and silence that religious groups were trying to enforce upon him for his controversial views. The novel follows Haroun as he searches to find a remedy for the loss of his father’s ability in storytelling. It’s very Alice In Wonderland-esque with its cast of colourful characters and beings. Haround travels across strange and mysterious lands in order to reinvigorate the stream of stories and stop the Chupwalas who wish to gain authoritarian control and create a singular meaning in the world. Haroun and the Guppees must fight in order to get creativity to flow again and allow for freedom and liberation.
The novel is basically an allegory for the importance of freedom of speech and the multiplicity of meaning. Rushdie highlights the danger of authoritarian governing and the need for creativity, democracy and the ever changing meaning in the world. It works perfectly as a children’s story and also as a political allegory.