Calling him the “greatest living Indian writer”, author and politician Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said the “overdue” Nobel Prize should no longer be withheld from Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie.
Tharoor, himself a best-selling author, praised Rushdie effusively after reading the Mumbai-born author’s latest novel, “Victory City”, based on the medieval city of Hampi, the ruined site in Karnataka.
“I’ve just finished Rushdie’s magnificent and magical ‘Victory City’, a fabulous recreation of the history of the Vijaynagar Empire through his magical-realist lens, brilliantly written as always, full of the verve and brio of a writer at the height of his powers,” tweeted Tharoor, a Congress MP.
Styled as a translation of an ancient epic, the novel is a tale of a woman who breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries.
Quoting the book’s last sentence “Words are the only victors”, Tharoor said the “wielder of these words is a victor too, and Victory City is a triumph”.
Praise for Rushdie
He said it was about time that Rushdie got the prestigious Nobel Prize for literature. “That overdue Nobel must not be withheld any longer to the greatest living Indian writer.”
Rushdie, who faced death threats for years after writing “The Satanic Verses”, was stabbed by a 24-year-old man in New York on August 12 last year. Although he survived, he lost one eye and the use of one hand.
Rushdie won the coveted Booker Prize in 1981 for “Midnights Children”. The novel also won the Booker of Bookers and the Best of the Booker in 1993 and 2008 respectively.
Rushdie was born into an Indian Kashmiri family just before India’s independence in 1947. He was educated in Mumbai before moving to England. He was a copywriter when he turned to be a full-time writer.
(With agency inputs)