Currently Reading: Joseph Anton
Hi friends! Just a quick post today. I'm back in DC for the time being and trying to get back into some semblance of my routine. Therefore, it's Wednesday, so let's do some books.
Salman Rushdie wrote a little book called The Satanic Verses. After its publication, in 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie, claiming that the book was against Islam. He called for Muslims around the world to find Rushdie and kill him for this.
Joseph Anton is Rushdie's memoir about that fateful day that turned his life upside-down and the essential spy novel that his life became. Running around the UK with his protection detail, from one safe house to the next, never knowing what would happen tomorrow, Rushdie was both terrified and angered by what was happening to him.
Some friends backed away from him during this time, while others drew closer. His publisher all but threw him out, and his own country refused to stand up for him. Groups of writers came together in support of him, while riots broke out around the world calling for his head.
I'm only about halfway through, but its truly stunning that one elderly dictator's word could ignite such a fire. Rushdie argues for free speech, against censorship, and on judging novels based on literary merit. He also spends a great deal of time discussing the importance of writers not being afraid to write.
My mom got this book for DT for Christmas, so of course I stole it to read it first. I've been reading it in between other books, so its taken longer than usual, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. Any Salman Rushdie fans out there?