Shame Background

Shame Background

Shame is a novel written by Salman Rushdie and published in 1983. This book was well received by critics, as are many of Rushdie’s works. Salman Rushdie is a British Indian writer, and his most well known works are his many novels and essays. One of his works, Midnight’s Children, won the Booker Prize in 1981, and his writing is often considered some of the best of recent works. Many of Rushdie’s novels are set in and around India, combining both historical and real locations and events with some from his own imagination. However, his works also present the many connections and movements between the East and the West in terms of cultures and civilizations. Not only is Rushdie’s work important in the literary sphere, but Rushdie himself was also knighted in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth for his work in literature, and he is also one of the greatest British writers in the past century, according to The Times.

Actually Rushdie’s third novel, Shame is written in a similar tone and style to his other novels, one of realism but also with a hint of imagination and magic. Shame is set in a fictional town of Q, based off of Quetta, Pakistan. There are three sisters, named Chunni, Munnee, and Bunny Shakil, all of whom pretend to be pregnant at the same time, but only one son, named Omar Khayyám, is born after nine months. However, all of the sisters raise him together, so he never knows who is his birth mother, nor does he ever know his biological father. Over the plot of this novel, Rushdie emphasizes the idea that violence is borne from shame, and the characters all have their own unique struggles with the ideas of shame and shamelessness connected with the themes knowledge and ignorance.

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