If Saleem Sinai’s narrative in Midnight’s Children mirrors Nehru’s cosmopolitan vision of a secular Indian nation, the narrator of Rushdie’s sixth novel The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995) is much less optimistic about this cosmopolitan, secular vision of India’s postcolonial future. Written from the first-person perspective of Moraes ‘Moor’ Zogoiby, the novel traces the downfall of the Zogoiby family, as well as the rise of right-wing Hindu politics in Bombay during the 1990s. Like Saleem Sinai and Rashid Khalifa, Moraes is likened to Scheherazade, the narrator of the Arabian Nights, who is under pressure to complete the narrative of his family’s history. This recurrent narrative motif in Rushdie’s fiction not only situates his writing in relation to a literary tradition that has its roots in eighth-century Baghdad but it also serves to establish Rushdie’s concern with the precarious position of the writer’s relationship to political power and authority in the twentieth century.
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