Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Haroun's Multicolored Backdrop

Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories is in many ways a simple fairy tale about magical people in a magical land. Rushdie himself admits that he first came up with the basic idea for the novel while telling stories to his son in the bathtub, and indeed, the simple structure and plot of the novel make it an ideal children's book (Nelson). While he wrote the book ostensibly for his son (as both a child and an adult), one wonders what Rushdie's other motivations and thoughts were while writing. So many aspects of the book have direct parallels to Rushdie's own circumstances and to the world he saw around him at the time that one must look at all the complexities and not simply discount the book as children's literature. What complexities, divisions, and issues did Rushdie consider in his creation of the Haroun narrative?

One cannot deny the importance of Rushdie's own personal circumstances in the writing of Haroun and the Sea of Stories because Rushdie wrote it for such personal reasons. After Rushdie's publication of The Satanic Verses, and Ayatollah Khomeini's subsequent issuing of the fatwa calling for his death, Rushdie went into hiding in Great Britain and was unable to see his...

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