“Midnight’s Children is one of the great novels of the world, and its themes are still relevant to the India of today,” said Erik Barmack, the Vice President of International Originals at Netflix on Deadline. “The narrative continues to fascinate audiences decades after it was first published. We are incredibly excited to translate this pioneering work of fiction that parallels the birth of modern India, for a global audience. The rich experience and talent of Indian creators combined with the global reach of Netflix, have the potential for millions of more people around the world to rediscover this story.”
Originally published in 1981, the novel is about India’s transition from a British colony to an independent nation. It follows the life of Saleem Sinai, a child born at midnight on India’s Independence Day, August 15, 1947, with telepathic powers and a sensitivity to smell. Saleem soon realizes that all children born around midnight on Independence Day were endowed with special powers. Those born closest to midnight, like Saleem, held the strongest abilities.
Saleem uses his powers to develop the Midnight Children’s Conference, which mirrors issues India faced relating to religion, culture, politics and more. The novel follows Saleem into adulthood, where he faced forceful migration, wars, amnesia and even became a political prisoner.
The magical realism used in Rushdie’s work is praiseworthy. He cleverly uses Saleem’s health, well-being, and actions to reflect India’s national affairs. He incorporated real events of India’s history like Indira Gandhi’s state of Emergency in 1975, mirroring it with Saleem’s life and abilities. Rushdie managed to sneak in criticism of Gandhi’s actions through his book as well.
A poignant example of postcolonial and postmodernism, the book has won many awards including the 1981 Booker Prize and the James Tait Memorial Prize. Rushdie was even knighted in 2007 for his work in literature and “Midnight’s Children“ is considered one of his greatest works. Rushdie tweeted his excitement about the new project.
I’m absolutely delighted about this: so delighted that I’m tweeting about it after a very long tweet-silence. https://t.co/VjGbtkJ1CN
— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) June 28, 2018