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Joseph Anton: A Memoirby Salman Rushdie
Synopses & Reviews
On February 14, 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran.”
So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton.
How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for more than nine years? How does he go on working? How does he fall in and out of love? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, how and why does he stumble, how does he learn to fight back? In this remarkable memoir Rushdie tells that story for the first time; the story of one of the crucial battles, in our time, for freedom of speech. He talks about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and of the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom.
It is a book of exceptional frankness and honesty, compelling, provocative, moving, and of vital importance. Because what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding somewhere in the world every day.
Includes a prologue read by the Author.
Praise for Salman Rushdie
“In Salman Rushdie . . . India has produced a glittering novelist—one with startling imaginative and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling.”—The New Yorker
“Salman Rushdie has earned the right to be called one of our great storytellers.”—The Observer
“Our most exhilaratingly inventive prose stylist, a writer of breathtaking originality.”—Financial Timese prose stylist, a writer of breathtaking originality.”—Financial Times
"After a fatwa ordering his death was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini on Valentine's Day in 1989, brilliant novelist Rushdie opted to take the first names of his two favorite writers and combine them into a pseudonym, in order to protect his identity. The result: Joseph Anton (from Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekov). Narrator Sam Dastor delivers an absolutely stellar reading of the memoir that recounts the life and times of the fictional Anton, through sometimes nightmarish events. Dastor's British dialect is pitch perfect and finely tuned. His delivery is well paced and his character interpretations are inspired. Rushdie himself ably narrates the prologue. A Random House hardcover. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
SALMAN RUSHDIE is the author of eleven previous novels--Luka and the Fire of Life, Grimus, Midnight's Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, and The Enchantress of Florence--and one collection of short stories, East, West. He has also published three works of nonfiction: The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991, and Step Across This Line, and coedited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. He is a former president of American PEN.
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