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Lit Circles - Primary: Haroun and the Sea of Stories

About the book

​Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

“Happy endings must come at the end of something,' the Walrus pointed out. 'If they happen in the middle of a story, or an adventure, or the like, all they do is cheer things up for awhile.”


 Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals,  Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers.   

GENRE: Fantasy


  • Storytelling
  • Words, naming and language
  • Power and censorship
  • Balance and opposites

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Extension material

undefinedAuthor, Salman Rushdie, in full Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, (born June 19, 1947, Bombay (now Mumbai], India), Indian-born British writer whose allegorical novels examine historical and philosophical issues by means of surreal characters, brooding humour, and an effusive and melodramatic prose style. His treatment of sensitive religious and political subjects made him a controversial figure.

Questions for your circle

  • What does the novel say about the use, reuse, and misuse of stories. How does Haroun and the Sea of Stories reuse older stories?
  • What makes Haroun and the Sea of Stories a book about community and culture?
  • In the novel’s opening, why is the Sad City sad?
  • According to the novel, how can free speech become dangerous?
  • Although Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a written novel, oral tradition plays a large role for many of the characters. Discuss what this means for the novel’s narrative.
  • What is the sense of the closing comment, "time is definitely on the move again around these parts"?

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