News Release: Arts and Humanities, People

Jul. 10,  2008

Salman Rushdie Wins Best of Booker Prize

Salman Rushdie, Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University, has taken the famous Booker Prize to new heights. His novel "Midnight's Children," which won the prize in 1981, has been voted the "greatest Booker Prize winner in the 40-year history of the award," according to an announcement in The Times of London.

The Best of the Booker was picked by ordinary readers, according to The Times, which noted that "at least half of the voters are under the age of 35," therefore not yet born when Rushdie wrote the novel.

"It's very exciting and gratifying, the more so because so many of the voters were so very young," Rushdie told The Times. "I'm very happy to think that 'Midnight's Children' continues to be relevant."

The Booker Prize, founded in 1969, is one of the world's most prestigious literary awards. In 1993, "Midnight's Children" received a similar accolade as the best novel in 25 years of the Booker Prize.

Rushdie at Emory

Rushdie's position as Distinguished Writer in Residence is a five-year appointment, and began in the spring of 2007. During each of the five years, he presents a public lecture, teaches for at least four weeks, leads a graduate seminar, participates in undergraduate classes, advises students and engages in symposia with the academic community.

In 2006, Rushdie placed his archive at Emory's Woodruff Library. Included in the archive are Rushdie's private journals detailing his nearly 10 years of living in the shadow of a fatwa, as well as personal correspondence, notebooks, photographs and manuscripts of all of his writings, including two early unpublished novels.

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