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The Booker Prize 1981

The Booker Prize 1981

The Winner

Midnight’s Children

By Salman Rushdie

Published by Hodder & Stoughton 

Born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, at the precise moment of India’s independence, the infant Saleem Sinai is celebrated in the press and welcomed by Prime Minister Nehru himself. But this coincidence of birth has consequences Saleem is not prepared for: telepathic powers that connect him with 1,000 other “midnight’s children” – all born in the initial hour of India’s independence – and an uncanny sense of smell that allows him to sniff out dangers others can’t perceive. Inextricably linked to his nations, Saleem’s biography is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirror the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious.


The Shortlist

The 1981 Judges

Professor Malcolm Bradbury (Chair)

Brian Aldiss

Joan Bakewell

Samuel Hynes

Hermione Lee