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Joseph Anton

A Memoir
Rushdie, Salman (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Joseph Anton
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On February 14, 1989, Salman Rushdie received a call from a journalist informing him that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the first time Rushdie heard the word fatwa. His crime? Writing a novel, 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 for more than nine years, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. Asked to choose an alias that the police could use, he thought of combinations of the names of writers he loved: Conrad and Chekhov: Joseph Anton. How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for over nine years? How does he go on working? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, and how does he learn to fight back? In this memoir, Rushdie tells for the first time the story of his crucial battle for freedom of speech. He shares the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and 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. What happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding.--From publisher description.
Authors: Rushdie, Salman
Statement of Responsibility: Salman Rushdie
Title: Joseph Anton
a memoir
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xii, 636 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: The first blackbird
A Faustian contract in reverse
"Manuscripts don't burn"
Year zero
The trap of wanting to be loved
"Been down so long it looks like up to me"
Why it's impossible to photograph the Pampas
A truckload of dung
Mr. Morning and Mr. Afternoon
His millenarian illusion
At the Halcyon Hotel
Summary: On February 14, 1989, Salman Rushdie received a call from a journalist informing him that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the first time Rushdie heard the word fatwa. His crime? Writing a novel, 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 for more than nine years, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. Asked to choose an alias that the police could use, he thought of combinations of the names of writers he loved: Conrad and Chekhov: Joseph Anton. How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for over nine years? How does he go on working? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, and how does he learn to fight back? In this memoir, Rushdie tells for the first time the story of his crucial battle for freedom of speech. He shares the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and 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. What happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding.--From publisher description.
Subject Headings: Rushdie, Salman Censorship Authors, English 20th century Biography Authors, Indic Great Britain Biography Fatwas Personal narratives Protective custody Great Britain Personal narratives Islam and literature History 20th century Blasphemy (Islam) History 20th century Freedom of the press History 20th century
Topical Term: Authors, English
Authors, Indic
Fatwas
Protective custody
Islam and literature
Blasphemy (Islam)
Freedom of the press
LCCN: 2012372283
ISBN: 9780812992786
0812992784
Branch Call Number: B Rushdie R
Research Call Number: JFE 12-7527
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Aug 29, 2013
  • talktimereader rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Complex, tediously detailed, thrillingly complete; you must read this for insight into the concept of personal freedom and freedom of expression.

Salman I am so glad you explained your character on screen in Bridget Jones.

Jun 14, 2013
  • anneelliot rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Engaging tale of Rushdie's life, including the 9 years he spent under Special Branch protection and hiding from Iranian assassins because of a book he wrote. A testament to the importance of standing up for our freedom to think, speak and write independently and creatively, and in uniting against terrorism in any form. Rushdie is an excellent storyteller, portrays himself in the 3rd person (perhaps to get some distance?) which seems odd at first, and is at times unflinchingly honest in his self-portrait. He also seems to be settling some scores with those who made his years under the fatwa even more difficult, yet after having others who don't necessarily like, know, or understand you define who you are in the media, it's understandable that he'd want to have his say, at last. Most powerful are his words on the power of literature to help us find common ground with one another, even when we may disagree politically, religiously, artistically.

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