Synopses & Reviews
To cross a frontier is to be transformed....The frontier is a wake-up call. At the frontier, we can't avoid the truth; the comforting layers of the quotidian, which insulate us against the world's harsher realities, are stripped away and, wide-eyed in the harsh fluorescent light of the frontier's windowless halls, we see things as they are. In Salman Rushdie's latest collection of nonfiction, he crosses over the frontier and sees and tells things as they are, inviting readers to "step across this line" with him. The essays, speeches, and opinion pieces assembled in Step Across This Line, written over the last ten years, cover an astonishing range of subjects. The collection chronicles Rushdie's intellectual odyssey and is also an especially personal look into the writer's psyche. With the same fierce intelligence, uncanny social commentary, and very strong opinions that distinguish his fiction, Rushdie writes about his fascination with The Wizard of Oz, his obsession with soccer, and the state of the novel, among many other topics. Most notably, delving into his unique personal experience fighting the Iranian fatwa, he addresses the subject of militant Islam in a series of challenging and deeply felt responses to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The book ends with the eponymous "Step Across This Line," a lecture Rushdie delivered at Yale in the spring of 2002, which has never been published before and is sure to prompt discussion. Rushdie's first collection of nonfiction, Imaginary Homelands, offered a unique vision of politics, literature, and culture for the 1980s. Step Across This Line does the same and more for the last decade of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first.
"Salman Rushdie is a storyteller of prodigious powers, able to conjure up whole geographies, causalities, climates, creatures, customs, out of thin air." The New York Times Book Review
From one of the great novelists of our day, a vital, brilliant new book of essays, speeches and articles essential for our times.
Step Across This Line showcases the otherside of one of fiction's most astonishing conjurors. On display is Salman Rushdie's incisive, thoughtful and generous mind, in prose that is as entertaining as it is topical. The world is here, capturedin pieces on a dazzling array of subjects: from New York's Amadou Diallo case to the Wizard of Oz, from U2 to fifty years of Indian writing, from a tribute to Angela Carter to the struggle tofilm Midnight's Children. The title essay was originally delivered at Yale as the 2002 Tanner lecture on human values, and examines the changing meaning of frontiers in the modern world --moral and metaphorical frontiers as well as physical ones.
The collection chronicles Rushdie's intellectual journeys, but it is also an intimate invitation into his life: he explores hisrelationship to India through a moving diary of his first visit there in over a decade, A Dream of Glorious Return. Step Across This Line also includes Messages From thePlague Years, a historic set of letters, articles and reflections on life under the fatwa. Gathered together for the first time, this is Rushdie's humane, intelligent and angry response to a grotesquethreat, aimed not just at him but at free expression itself.
Step Across This Line, Salman Rushdie's first collection of non-fiction in a decade, has the same energy, imagination and erudition as his astounding novels -- along with some very strong opinions.
From the Hardcover edition.
Salman Rushdie is the award-winning author of eight novels: Fury, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, The Moor's Last Sigh, Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Booker of Bookers), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Grimus, and Haroun and the Sea of Stories; one collection of short stories, East, West; a book of reportage, The Jaguar Smile, and an earlier collection of essays, Imaginary Homelands. He lives in New York and London.
From the Hardcover edition.
A collection of the author's nonfiction pieces addresses such topics as his fascination with "The Wizard of Oz," the 2000 presidential election, the Muslim faith, life under a fatwa, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
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About the Author
Salman Rushdie is the author of eight novels—Grimus, Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the “Booker of Bookers”), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, and Fury—and one work of short stories, East, West. He has also published four previous works of nonfiction: The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz, and Mirrorwork.
Table of Contents
Machine generated contents note: Out of Kansas -- The Best of Young British Novelists -- Angela Carter -- Beirut Blues -- Arthur Miller at Eighty -- In Defense of the Novel, Yet Again -- Notes on Writing and the Nation -- Influence -- Adapting Midhight's Children -- Reservoir Frogs -- Heavy Threads -- In the Voodoo Lounge -- Rock Music-A Sleeve Note -- U2 -- An Alternative Career -- On Leavened Bread -- On Being Photographed -- Crash -- The People's Game -- Farming Ostriches -- A Commencement Address -- "Imagine There's No Heaven" -- "Damme, This Is the Oriental Scene for You!" -- India's Fiftieth Anniversary -- Gandhi, Now -- The Taj Mahal -- The Babumama -- A Dream of Glorious Return -- II. MESSAGES FROM THE PLAGUE YEARS -- III. COLUMNS -- December 1998: Three Leaders -- January 1999: The Millennium -- February 1999: Ten Years of the Fatwa -- March 1999: Globalization -- April 1999: Rock Music -- May 1999: Moron of the Year -- June 1999: Kashmir -- July 1999: Northern Ireland -- August 1999: Kosovo -- September 1999: Darwin in Kansas -- October 1999: Edward Said -- November 1999: Pakistan -- December 1999: Islam and the West -- January 2000: Terror Versus Security -- February 2000: J6rg Haider -- March 2000: Amadou Diallo -- April 2000: Elian Gonzlez -- May 2000: J. M. Coetzee -- June 2000: Fiji -- July 2000: Sport -- August 2000: Two Crashes -- September 2000: Senator Lieberman -- October 2000: The Human Rights Act -- November 2000: Going to Electoral College -- December 2000: A Grand Coalition? -- January 2001: How the Grinch Stole America -- February 2001: Sleaze Is Back -- March 2001: Crouching Striker, Hidden Danger -- April 2001: It Wasn't Me -- May 2001: Abortion in India -- June 2001: Reality TV -- July 2001: The Release of the Budger Killers -- August 2001: Arundhati Roy -- September 2001: Telluride -- October 2001: The Attacks on America -- November 2001: Not About Islam? -- February 2002: Anti-Americanism -- March 2002; God in Gujarat -- IV STEP ACROSS THIS LINE.