The Chutnification of History and the Limits of Gastronomic Pluralism: Food, Identity, and the Commodification of Culture in the Novels of Salman Rushdie
This chapter examines food and identity in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, and The Moor’s Last Sigh—with a glance at Shalimar the Clown—reading these novels in relation to the work of Homi Bhabha, Sharmila Sen, Parama Roy, Lizzie Collingham, K.T. Achaya, and Rebecca Walkowitz. Also discussed are the novels Beach Boy by Ardashir Vakil and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, in relation to Graham Huggan’s concept of the ‘postcolonial exotic’ and to Rushdie’s work. Key themes in this chapter include migration, hybridity, and the ways in which contemporary fiction anticipates and engages with a heterogeneous global readership. The chapter also examines the Satanic Verses affair and Rushdie’s definitions of the novel as a form.