Shame (Rushdie novel)
|08 September 1983|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|Pages||317 (1983 edition)|
|LC Class||PR6068.U757 S5 1983|
Shame is Salman Rushdie's third novel, published in 1983. Like most of Rushdie's work, this book was written in the style of magic realism. It portrays the lives of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Iskander Harappa) and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (General Raza Hyder) and their relationship. The central theme of the novel is that violence is born out of shame. The concepts of 'shame' and 'shamelessness' are explored through all of the characters, with main focus on Sufiya Zinobia and Omar Khayyám.
Shame discusses heritage, authenticity, truth, and, of course, shame and shamelessness, as well as the impact of all these themes on an individual, the protagonist Omar Khayyám.
Rushdie wrote Shame after his second novel Midnight's Children.
- Omar Khayyám Shakil – The main character of the story who is raised by Chunni, Munnee, and Bunny.
- Chunni, Munnee, and Bunny Shakil – Mothers of Omar Khayyám who pretended to be pregnant simultaneously.
- Babar Shakil – The second son of Chunni, Munnee, and Bunny Shakil.
Hyder family members
- Raza Hyder – A military man who marries Bilquis as a Captain and is eventually promoted to General. He is also the murderer of Babar Shakil.
- Bilquìs Hyder – Wife of Raza Hyder and mother of Sufiya Zinobia and Naveed Hyder.
- Sufiya Zinobia Hyder – Daughter of Raza and Bilquìs Hyder. Born with developmental issues. Embodies shame.
- Naveed Hyder – Younger sister of Sufiya Zinobia Hyder who is promised to Haroun Harappa but marries Captain Talvar Ulhaq.
Harappa family members
- Iskander Harappa – Politician and "playboy" who is married to Rani Harappa.
- Rani Harappa – Cousin of Raza Hyder and wife of Iskander Harappa.
- Arjumand Harappa – Daughter of Iskander and Rani.
- Haroun Harappa – The eldest son of Little Mir Hirappa, who is promised to wed Naveed Hyder.
- Atiyah "Pinkie" Aurangzeb – Widowed by President Marshall A. and has an affair with Iskander Harappa.
- Captain Talvar Ulhaq – Police captain and polo player who marries Naveed Hyder.
- Eduardo Rodriguez – A Dominican teacher who becomes the private tutor of Omar Khayyám Shakil. He also is foster father to a child, Omar has with Farah, Omar's childhood crush.
- Farah Zoroaster – Daughter of a customs officer. Has a child with Omar but is taken care of by Eduardo Rodriguez and is Omar Khayyám Shakil's childhood crush.
- Maulana Dawood – Mullah and political confidant of Raza Hyder.
This story takes place in a town called "Q" which is actually a fictitious version of Quetta, Pakistan. In Q, the three sisters (Chunni, Munnee, and Bunny Shakil) simultaneously pretend to give birth to Omar Khayyám Shakil. Therefore, it is impossible to know who Omar's true mother is. In addition, they are unsure of who Omar's father is as the three sisters got pregnant at a house party. While growing up, Omar becomes mischievous and learns hypnosis. As a birthday present, Omar Khayyám Shakil's "mothers" allow him to leave Q. He enrolls in a school and is convinced by his tutor (Eduardo Rodriguez) to become a doctor. Over time, he comes in contact with both Iskander Harappa and General Raza Hyder.
- Winner of the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize).
- Shortlisted for the 1983 Booker Prize.
- The Persian translation received an award from an official jury appointed by a ministry of the Iranian Islamic government.
Rushdie, Salman. Shame. Vintage: London, 1995.
- PORTRAIT SALMAN RUSHDIE - Actualité Celebre - EVENE
- Daniel Pipes: The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West (1990), p.49
- Bentley, Nick. "Salman Rushdie, Shame". In Contemporary British Fiction, 52-61. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008), 66-75. ISBN 978-0-7486-2420-1.
- Listen to Salman Rushdie discussing Shame with Tariq Ali - a British Library recording.