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Salman Rushdie
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Joseph Anton: A Memoir
 
 
Author
Salman Rushdie.
Publisher Random House  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9780812992786
Pages/Publication Date 637/2012
Daedalus Item Code 41062
List Price: $30.00
Sale Price: $4.98
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(Named one of the Best Books of 2012 by London's Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, the Kansas City Star, and Newsweek) The author of Midnight's Children and winner of the Booker of Bookers and many other of the world's most prestigious literary awards, Salman Rushdie is most widely known for The Satanic Verses, the 1988 novel that was banned in many Islamic countries. Most of the furor was sparked when Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa—a religious decree that Rushdie and his publishers should be killed on sight. And while this action chilled Western and Muslim relations around the world, for Rushdie personally it led to years of hiding, moving from house to house with the constant presence of armed police, and living under an alias—Joseph Anton. More than a memoir, Joseph Anton is a frank, profound, sometimes surprisingly funny examination of the inalienable right to—and vital need for—free speech.

"A harrowing, deeply felt and revealing document: an autobiographical mirror of the big, philosophical preoccupations that have animated Mr. Rushdie's work throughout his career."—NYTimes

"Extraordinary.... Joseph Anton beautifully modulates between ... moments of accidental hilarity, and the higher purpose Rushdie saw in opposing—at all costs—any curtailment on a writer's freedom."—Boston Globe

"Rushdie accomplishes many wondrous and momentous feats in this profound and galvanizing memoir. He shares the now strangely foreshadowing fact that his ardent storyteller father invented their last name, paying tribute to Ibn Rushd, a 12th-century Spanish Arab philosopher who argued for rationalism over Islamic literalism. He explains how, decades later, when British protection officers asked him to come up with an alias, really a nom de guerre, Rushdie concocted Joseph Anton in homage to Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov. His first fictions, he observes, were the upbeat letters he sent to his parents in India, concealing his boarding-school miseries in cold and racist 1960s England. He learned to focus on his inner life, cherish kindred spirits, and navigate adversity, skills that served him well after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued his fatwa, sentencing Rushdie to death for writing The Satanic Verses. Rushdie tells the full, astonishing, and necessary story of his 13 hellish years of threats, risk, and protective isolation in a passionately detailed, sardonically witty, and intensely dramatic third-person chronicle of a landmark battle in the war for liberty in the Muslim world. Forthright about his personal struggles and immensely grateful to all who championed his cause, Rushdie elucidates what literature does for us and why artistic and intellectual freedoms truly are matters of life and death."—Booklist (starred review)

 
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