A Review of Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
I did not plan to write this today but Salman Rushdie was beaten stabbed today. I am not a fan of his fiction I find it does not work very well but because of that fiction one of the best memoirs of a literary life under siege was written. Rushdie memoir was named after his code name for British protective services. a combination of his hero's first names, Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekov.
Rushdie gives a full view of his life and the defining moment where the publication the Satanic Verses cause the immoral Fatwah by Khomeini. We get to see his life and his struggles and also his many flaws. We also get to see those like Hitchens who risked his life to maintain his friendship. I admire Hitchens for this stance alone.
His non-fiction is not troubled by his problems as a fiction writer, his prose are beautiful and self disparaging, and often all so human, he is most human in his failings. He is a very truthful narrator and comes across as a man who loves literature as much as his own life who enters the arena in fear, but shows bravery in the face of ostracization and immoral westerners fearing for their own skin. Tales of threats to publishers and publishing houses are rather important to read since they show that this was not a false flag, William Nygaard his Norwegian publisher was shot 3 times for the publication of the Satanic Verses.
The book will hold your interest, and it rivals William Tecumseh Sherman, and Hitch 22 memoirs as my all time favorite memoir.