The Moor’s Last Sigh

Publisher: Vintage Canada

A ferociously witty family saga with a surreally imagined and sometimes blasphemous chronicle of modern India with peppery soliloquies on art, ethnicity, religious fanaticism, and the terrifying power of love. Moraes “Moor” Zogoiby, the last surviving scion of a dynasty of Cochinese spice merchants and crime lords, is also a compulsive storyteller and an exile. As he travels a route that takes him from India to Spain, he leaves behind a tale of mad passions and volcanic family hatreds, of titanic matriarchs and their mesmerized offspring, of premature deaths and curses that strike beyond the grave.

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I have lost count of the days that have passed since I fled the horrors of Vasco Miranda's mad fortress in the Andalusian mountain-village of Benengeli; ran from death under cover of darkness and left a message nailed to the door. And since then along my hungry, heat-hazed way there have been further bunches of...
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READING GUIDE

1) Why does Rushdie use the device of a "double-quick" [p. 143] life for the Moor? What does the idea of such speed add to the novel? What is the significance of the Moor's deformed right hand to his character and function within the story?

2) Rushdie has stated that the idea of a portrait of a mother...

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PRAISE FOR

TIME Magazine’s Best Book of the Year

“Fierce, phantasmagorical…a huge, sprawling, exuberant novel.” The New York Times

“Rushdie, the author of nine previous books—including The Satanic Verses, which prompted Ayatollah Khomeini to issue his death sentence in 1989—alludes often to his own exile, the story of modern India and the dangers of art. At first the hyperbole, didactic asides, verbal puns, lyrical and lewd jokes, and slapstick routines seem a bit much, but if you stick with it, a cumulative magic takes hold. Rushdie’s satiric, hysterically funny, political family tragedy is a masterpiece.” Salon

“Salman Rushdie’s greatest novel…held me is its thrall and provided the richest fictional experience of 1995.” The Sunday Times

“The most complete and gratifying work to emerge from Salman Rushdie’s imagination…. The Moor’s Last Sigh is an exotic story, in its setting, in its characters, in its punning extravagance, and in its deeply human core. It is an extraordinary family saga…full of wonderful characters, and the insight born of genuine reflection…A remarkable spell of creativity.” The Edmonton Journal

“A rich, wonderfully readable novel.” Toronto Star