Synopsis: What do we do when the world's walls - its family structures, its value-systems, its political forms - crumble? The central character of this novel, 'Moor' Zogoiby, only son of a wealthy, artistic-bohemian Bombay family , finds himself at such a moment of crisis. His mother, a famous painter and an emotional despot, worships beauty, but Moor is ugly, he has a deformed hand. Moor falls in love, with a married woman; when their secret is revealed, both are expelled: a suicide pact is proposed, but only the woman dies. Moor chooses to accept his fate, plunges, into a life of depravity in Bombay, then leaves for London where he becomes embroiled in a major financial scandal. The novel ends in Spain, in the studio of a painter who was the lover of Moor's mother: in a violent climax Moor has, once more, to decide whether to save the life of his lover by sacrificing his own.
Review: In The Moor's Last Sigh Salman Rushdie revisits some of the same ground he covered in his greatest novel, Midnight's Children. This book is narrated by Moraes Zogoiby, a.k.a. Moor, who speaks to us from a gravestone in Spain. Like Moor, Rushdie knows about a life spent in banishment from normal society--Rushdie because of the fatwa that followed The Satanic Verses, Moor because he ages at twice the rate of normal humans. Yet Moor's story of travail is bigger than Rushdie's; it encompasses a grand struggle between good and evil while Moor himself stands as allegory for Rushdie's home country of India. Filled with wordplay and ripe with humour, it is an epic work, and Rushdie has the tools to pull it off. He earned a 1995 Whitbread Prize for his efforts.