The novel that set the stage for his modern classic, The Satanic Verses, Shame is Salman Rushdie’s phantasmagoric epic of an unnamed country that is “not quite Pakistan.” In this dazzling tale of an ongoing duel between the families of two men—one a celebrated wager of war, the other a debauched lover of pleasure—Rushdie brilliantly portrays a world caught between honor and humiliation —“shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.” Shame is an astonishing story that grows more timely by the day.
“Rushdie’s novels pour by in a sparkling, voracious onrush...each paragraph luxurious and delicious.” The New Yorker
“There can seldom have been so robust and baroque an incarnation of the political novel as Shame. It can be read as a fable, polemic, or excoriation; as history or as fiction.... This is the novel as myth and as satire.” Sunday Telegraph
“Shame is and is not about Pakistan, that invented, imaginary country, ‘a failure of the dreaming mind.’... Rushdie shows us with what fantasy our sort of history must now be written—if, that is, we are to penetrate it, and perhaps even save it.” The Guardian
“Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, Voltaire in Candide, Sterne in Tristram Shandy...Rushdie, it seems to me, is very much a latter-day member of their company.” The New York Times Book Review
“A pitch-black comedy of public life and historical imperatives.” The Times (UK)