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Joseph Anton (Hindi Edition) By Salman Rushdie

 

Joseph Anton - a pseudonym conjured by the author joining first names of Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekov - tries to be different things at the same time and succeeds brilliantly.

 

Primarily a memoir about the almost decade long siege Salman Rushdie was under due to the Fatwa, it is also an eloquent treatise for free speech and its value to the world where it has increasingly come under attack. It also elaborates on the author-publisher relationship and provides insights into the goings on in the publishing industry.Finally to spice things up he also adds details from his personal life and in the process excoriating two of his ex-wives!

 

Rushdie purportedly kept a diary during the Fatwa years and that would explain his detailed day-on-day account of those days. Although rich in detail it also tends to get monotonous after the first few years what with innumerable parties, home shifts and speaking engagements.

 

What came as a surprise are accounts of the author as a boy and young man growing up in post-independence Bombay and his journey to boarding school and college in England. His encounters with England rather than making him lose his Indian roots instead provided him with as he says a 'multi-rooted' existence.His love for India shines through, evident in the fact that all his novels had their inspiration from Indian stories. His disappointments with India too come through when at times India rejected him and as he wryly says 'the wounds inflicted by India were the deepest'.



Imaginary Homelands

Drawing from two political and several literary homelands, this collection presents a remarkable series of trenchant essays, demonstrating the full range and force of Salman Rushdie’s remarkable imaginative and observational powers. With candour, eloquence and indignation he carefully examines an expanse of topics; including the politics of India and Pakistan, censorship, the Labour Party, Palestinian identity, contemporary film and late-twentieth century race, religion and politics. Elsewhere he trains his eye on literature and fellow writers, from Julian Barnes on love to the politics of George Orwell’s ‘Inside the Whale’, providing fresh insight on Kipling, V.S. Naipaul, Graham Greene, John le Carré, Raymond Carver, Philip Roth and Thomas Pynchon among others. Profound, passionate and insightful, Imaginary Homelands is a masterful collection from one of the greatest writers working today.



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