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Joseph Anton : A Memoir - Salman Rushdie

Hardcover Published: 18th September 2012
ISBN: 9780812992786
Number Of Pages: 636

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  • Paperback View Product Published: 1st August 2013
  • ePUB View Product Published: 18th September 2012
  • Paperback View Product Published: 10th September 2013

Please note the pages on this book have been produced with bevelled or rough edge to create an old style look. The publisher has deliberately chosen to produce the book this way.

Product Description

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.

Industry Reviews

“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.” - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“A splendid book, the finest... memoir to cross my desk in many a year.” - Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“Thoughtful and astute... an important book.” - USA Today

“Compelling, affecting... demonstrates Mr. Rushdie’s ability as a stylist and storytelle... [He] reacted with great bravery and even heroism.” - The Wall Street Journal

“Gripping, moving and entertaining... nothing like it has ever been written.” - The Independent (UK)

“A thriller, an epic, a political essay, a love story, an ode to liberty.” - Le Point (France)

“Action-packed... in a literary class by itself... Like Isherwood, Rushdie’s eye is a camera lens - firmly placed in one perspective and never out of focus.” - Los Angeles Review of Books

“Unflinchingly honest... an engrossing, exciting, revealing and often shocking book.” - de Volkskrant (The Netherlands)

“One of the best memoirs you may ever read.” - DNA (India)

“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.” - The Boston Globe

Fascinating memoir


Salman Rushdie has always been one of my favourite writers and this account of his life under the fatwa is particularly engaging. Having to stay hidden while the rest of the world criticised or defended him must have been incredibly hard. Some of the people who supported him did so in wonderful ways while others judged him for reasons neither literary nor reasonable.

Brisbane Australia


Joseph Anton

5.0 1


ISBN: 9780812992786
ISBN-10: 0812992784
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 636
Published: 18th September 2012
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.622 x 16.764  x 4.064
Weight (kg): 1.066

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Salman Rushdie

About the Author

Salman Rushdie is the author of ten novels: Grimus, Midnight’s Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981), 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.

He is also the author of a book of stories, East, West, and three works of non-fiction - Imaginary Homelands, The Jaguar Smile, and Step Across This Line. He is the co-editor of Mirrorwork, an anthology of contemporary Indian writing, and of the 2008 Best American Short Stories anthology.

He has adapted Midnight’s Children for the stage. It was performed in London and New York by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2004, an opera based upon Haroun and the Sea of Stories was premiered by the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.

A Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature, Salman Rushdie has received, among other honours, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice), the Writers’ Guild Award, the James Tait Black Prize, the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature, Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany, the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature, the Premio Grinzane Cavour in Italy, the Crossword Book Award in India, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the London International Writers’ Award, and the James Joyce award of University College Dublin.

He holds honorary doctorates and fellowships at six European and six American universities, is an Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T, and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University. He has received the Freedom of the City in Mexico City, Strasbourg and El Paso, and the Edgerton Prize of the American Civil Liberties Union. He holds the rank of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters - France’s highest artistic honour.

Between 2004 and 2006 he served as President of PEN American Center, and continues to work as President of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, which he helped to create. In June 2007 he received a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2008 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a Library Lion of the New York Public Library. In addition, Midnight’s Children was named the Best of the Booker – the best winner in the award’s 40 year history – by a public vote.

His books have been translated into over forty languages. Films are currently in production of both Midnight's Children and Haroun and he Sea of Stories.

Visit Salman Rushdie's Booktopia Author Page