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Tag: salman rushdie

  • Happy birthday, Salman Rushdie

    Happy birthday, Salman Rushdie! He is all of 67 today. What a pity a book he began with such brio has haunted him ever since. Few books open as memorably as The Satanic Verses. I cannot imagine any other writer describing an air crash quite like him. After the plane explodes over the English Channel, […]

  • Joseph Anton: Rushdie on Rushdie

    I remember watching on CNN the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001. I could not believe my eyes as the two planes commandeered by al-Qaeda terrorists hit the twin towers, bringing them down in tongues of fire, clouds of smoke. Nearly 3,000 people were killed and retribution followed with the Americans going after […]

  • Margaret Thatcher and the books of her time

    I blogged about Margaret Thatcher and the music of her time and have seen quite a few articles since then about the British pop music scene of that era. One should recall the books, too. It was a grand time for booklovers. P.G. Wodehouse died in 1975, but one could look forward to new books […]

  • Amit Chaudhuri, The Immortals

    It’s been a long time coming. Except that Amit Chaudhuri wouldn’t have used those words sung by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The gifted Indian writer,who teaches contemporary literature at the University of East Anglia, prefers Indian classical music. An accomplished singer himself, he pays homage to the music in The Immortals. Now don’t  let […]

  • Salman Rushdie and a fatwa woman

    On this day 20 years ago, Salman Rushdie was defending The Satanic Verses in a BBC interview, denying it was an attack on Islam. But the first blood had already been spilled with five people killed in violent agitation over the book in Islamabad, Pakistan. And the next day – tomorrow marks its 20th anniversary […]

  • Updike’s Terrorist and adulterers

    The Terrorist by John Updike India, not Iran, was the first to ban Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses shortly after it came out in September 1988, reminds the Observer. The then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress government banned the book under pressure from the opposition Janata Party. Both wanted the Muslim vote. It was only […]

  • Marquez biographer talks about the author

    Even those who have not read Gabriel Garcia Marquez will enjoy listening to The Strand, the BBC World Service arts and culture programme, where Gerald Martin tells Harriett Gilbert how he wrote Marquez’s biography. The 1982 Nobel Prize winner for literature emerges as such a fascinating figure that one immediately wants to read him. The […]

  • The Enchantress of Florence

    The Enchantress of Florence begins and ends like a movie. It openswith a golden-haired stranger arriving in the Mughal emperor Akbar’scapital, Fatehpur Sikri, and ends with Akbar meeting a legendarybeauty. What happens in between has the fairytale quality of theArabian Nights and uses the same literary device. The Enchantress of Florence is a tale within […]

  • Le Carre: The spy who almost went out into the cold

    John Le Carre was tempted to defect to the Soviet Union when he worked for MI6 during the Cold War in the early Sixties. “I wasn’t tempted ideologically, but when you spy intensively and you get closer and closer to the border . . . it seems such a small step to jump . . […]

  • Two Indians still in the Booker fray

    I am not surprised Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence has failed to get past the long list to the short list for the 2008 Man Booker Prize even though bookmaker Ladbrokes installed it as the 4-1 favourite. As I wrote in an earlier post, the West might find the story too exotic. Midnight’s Children, […]