One of my stock phrases when I’m asked which writers I admire is, “Salman Rushdie taught me how to write.” Not that I attended some master class he gave—I’m an autodidact, so this was a correspondence course by reading his entire oeuvre. Oddly, I’ve never met him directly, although we have a few friends in common and it would be reasonable to expect that an ‘old India hand’ like me, especially one with such deep ties to Kashmir through marriage and personal history (Rushdie is of Kashmiri descent), would have had some contact with him, however brief. Nope.
A less dramatic statement would be that Midnight’s Children is the text that transformed my writing the most. Rushdie introduced me to how plasticine the English language can be,