Wed, 9 January 2013
You are an author, minding your own business. One fine day you decide to write a book about the birth of a religion and you pick the one you know the most: Islam. From one day to the next the whole Muslim world is after you, willing and ready to kill you.
This is what happened to Salman Rushdie after the publication of his famous Satanic Verses in 1989.
Joseph Anton, a memoir is his recollection, under the pseudonym Joseph Anton, of nine years of nightmare, nine years of fear, nine years of wondering when this will all end. It’s the story of a man dealing with forces much bigger than him. It’s the story of a man dealing with every day life knowing a death threat is on him. It’s the story of a man dealing with other people, trying to live life as a normal human being. Most importantly, it’s a tale about freedom of speech.
It does help to have read The Satanic Verses beforehand but even without, Joseph Anton, a memoir is an amazing recollection of an important piece of history from the point of view of the main protagonist. And it’s written with the extraordinarily elegant prose of Salman Rushdie, a very big plus