Reviews of Midnight's Children: The New Statesman

Bill Buford

Rushdie, with his godly gift of the gab, is a garrulous story-teller who single-handedly returns the English language to the tradition of magic realism: that charmed line extended from Cervates through Sterne to, most recently, Milan Kundera and Gabriel Marquez. Rushdie makes a special world, as if, in his determined linguistic frenzy, he inflates, like a baloon, a globe that does not match the one we occupy but actually seems to stand as an alternative to it. But not, importantly, as a replacement for it. . . . [Rushdie] writes a new kind of fiction of the highest order: magical, artistic, urgently political. Although he may sometimes bite off more than he can chew, his central point is clear: you cannot separate the individual from the environment. Saleem's curse -- to be handcuffed to history -- is everyone's." Bill Buford (The New Statesman , May 1, 1981)

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