Winner of the Booker of Bookers
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.
San Francisco Chronicle • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Seattle Times • The Economist • Kansas City Star • BookPage
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.
Praise for Joseph Anton
“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
Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie combines a ferociously witty family saga with a surreally imagined and sometimes blasphemous chronicle of modern India and flavors the mixture with peppery soliloquies on art, ethnicity, religious fanaticism, and the terrifying power of love. Moraes "Moor" Zogoiby, the last surviving scion of a dynasty of Cochinese spice merchants and crime lords, is also a compulsive storyteller and an exile. As he travels a route that takes him from India to Spain, he leaves behind a tale of mad passions and volcanic family hatreds, of titanic matriarchs and their mesmerized offspring, of premature deaths and curses that strike beyond the grave.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world. It is the story of two cities, unknown to each other, at the height of their powers–the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant Akbar the Great wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire, and the treachery of his sons, and the equally sensual city of Florence during the High Renaissance, where Niccolò Machiavelli takes a starring role as he learns, the hard way, about the true brutality of power.
Vivid, gripping, irreverent, bawdy, profoundly moving, and completely absorbing, The Enchantress of Florence is a dazzling book full of wonders by one of the world’s most important living writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Max Ophuls’ memorable life ends violently in Los Angeles in 1993 when he is murdered by his Muslim driver Noman Sher Noman, also known as Shalimar the Clown. At first the crime seems to be politically motivated – Ophuls was previously ambassador to India, and later US counterterrorism chief – but it is much more.
Ophuls is a giant, an architect of the modern world: a Resistance hero and best-selling author, brilliant economist and clandestine US intelligence official. But it is as Ambassador to India that the seeds of his demise are planted, thanks to another of his great roles – irresistible lover. Visiting the Kashmiri village of Pachigam, Ophuls lures an impossibly beautiful dancer, the ambitious (and willing) Boonyi Kaul, away from her husband, and installs her as his mistress in Delhi. But their affair cannot be kept secret, and when Boonyi returns home, disgraced and obese, it seems that all she has waiting for her is the inevitable revenge of her husband: Noman Sher Noman, Shalimar the Clown. He was an acrobat and tightrope walker in their village’s traditional theatrical troupe; but soon Shalimar is trained as a militant in Kashmir’s increasingly brutal insurrection, and eventually becomes a terrorist with a global remit and a deeply personal mission of vengeance.
With sweeping brilliance, Salman Rushdie portrays fanatical mullahs as fully as documentary filmmakers, rural headmen as completely as British spies; he describes villages that compete to make the most splendid feasts, the mentality behind martial law, and the celebrity of Los Angeles policemen, all with the same genius.
But the main story is only part of the story. In this stunningly rich book everything is connected, and everyone is a part of everyone else. Shalimar the Clown is a true work of the era of globalization, intricately mingling lives and countries, and finding unexpected and sometimes tragic connections between the seemingly disparate. The violent fate of Kashmir recalls Strasbourg’s experience in World War Two; Resistance heroism against the Nazis counterpoints Al-Qaeda’s terror in Pakistan, North Africa and the Philippines. 1960s Pachigam is not so far from post-war London, or the Hollywood-driven present-day Los Angeles where Max’s daughter by Boonyi, India Ophuls, beautiful, strong-willed, modern, waits, as vengeance plays itself out.
A powerful love story, intensely political and historically informed, Shalimar the Clown is also profoundly human, an involving story of people’s lives, desires and crises – India Ophuls’ desperate search for her real mother, for example; Max’s wife’s attempts to deal with his philandering – as well as, in typical Rushdie fashion, a magical tale where the dead speak and the future can be foreseen.
Shalimar the Clown is steeped in both the Hindu epic Ramayana and the great European novelists, melding the storytelling traditions of east and west into a magnificently fruitful blend – and serves, itself, as a corrective to the destructive clashes of values it scorchingly depicts. Enthralling, comic and amazingly abundant, it will no doubt come to be seen as one of the key books of our time.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the moments of upheaval that surround the stroke of midnight on August 14--15, 1947, the day India proclaimed its independence from Great Britain, 1,001 children are born--each of whom is gifted with supernatural powers. Midnight’s Children focuses on the fates of two of them--the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman and the male heir of a wealthy Muslim family--who become inextricably linked when a midwife switches the boys at birth.
An allegory of modern India, Midnight’s Children is a family saga set against the volatile events of the thirty years following the country’s independence--the partitioning of India and Pakistan, the rule of Indira Gandhi, the onset of violence and war, and the imposition of martial law. It is a magical and haunting tale, of fragmentation and of the struggle for identity and belonging that links personal life with national history.
In collaboration with Simon Reade, Tim Supple and the Royal Shakespeare Society, Salman Rushdie has adapted his masterpiece for the stage.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Step Across This Line showcases the other side of one of fiction’s most astonishing conjurors. On display is Salman Rushdie’s incisive, thoughtful and generous mind, in prose that is as entertaining as it is topical. The world is here, captured in pieces on a dazzling array of subjects: from New York’s Amadou Diallo case to the Wizard of Oz, from U2 to fifty years of Indian writing, from a tribute to Angela Carter to the struggle to film Midnight’s Children. The title essay was originally delivered at Yale as the 2002 Tanner lecture on human values, and examines the changing meaning of frontiers in the modern world -- moral and metaphorical frontiers as well as physical ones.
The collection chronicles Rushdie’s intellectual journeys, but it is also an intimate invitation into his life: he explores his relationship to India through a moving diary of his first visit there in over a decade, “A Dream of Glorious Return.” Step Across This Line also includes “Messages From the Plague Years,” a historic set of letters, articles and reflections on life under the fatwa. Gathered together for the first time, this is Rushdie’s humane, intelligent and angry response to a grotesque threat, aimed not just at him but at free expression itself.
Step Across This Line, Salman Rushdie’s first collection of non-fiction in a decade, has the same energy, imagination and erudition as his astounding novels -- along with some very strong opinions.
From the Hardcover edition.
Rashid Khalifa es el mejor fabulador del mundo. Sus mágicas historias llevan la alegría al triste país de Alifbay. Pero un día sucede algo terrible y se le agotan las historias. De la noche a la mañana, el Océano de la Fantasía se ha convertido en el Sha del Blablablá. El hijo de Rashid Khalifa, Harún, decide ayudarle a recuperar su don. A lomos de la Abubilla, viaja al Mar de las Historias, un lugar maravilloso donde se originan las historias. De esta manera da comienzo una aventura fabulosa por los reinos de la fantasía.
«Pásate de la raya es un reconstituyente para la moral# Un libro acerca de la libertad, sus glorias y su alto precio.»
The Globe and Mail
Una referencia ineludible de la literatura de nuestro tiempo.
Un avión secuestrado estalla a gran altura sobre el canal de la Mancha. Dos supervivientes caen al mar: Gibrel Farishta, un legendario galán cinematográfico, y Saladin Chamcha, el hombre de las mil voces, autodidacta y anglófilo furibundo.
Consiguen llegar a una playa inglesa y notan unos extraños cambios: uno ha adquirido una aureola y el otro ve con horror cómo crece el vello de sus piernas, los pies se le convierten en cascos y las sienes se abultan...
«Una obra prodigiosa, brillante, deleitable.»
After drinking an elixir that bestows immortality upon him, a young Indian named Flapping Eagle spends the next seven hundred years sailing the seas with the blessing–and ultimately the burden–of living forever. Eventually, weary of the sameness of life, he journeys to the mountainous Calf Island to regain his mortality. There he meets other immortals obsessed with their own stasis and sets out to scale the island’s peak, from which the mysterious and corrosive Grimus Effect emits. Through a series of thrilling quests and encounters, Flapping Eagle comes face-to-face with the island’s creator and unwinds the mysteries of his own humanity. Salman Rushdie’s celebrated debut novel remains as powerful and as haunting as when it was first published more than thirty years ago.
“A book to be read twice . . . [Grimus] is literate, it is fun, it is meaningful, and perhaps most important, it pushes the boundaries of the form outward.”
–Los Angeles Times
Malik Solanka, historian of ideas and dollmaker extraordinaire, steps out of his life one day, abandons his family without a word of explanation, and flees London for New York. There's a fury within him, and he fears he has become dangerous to those he loves. He arrives in New York at a time of unprecedented plenty, in the highest hour of America's wealth and power, seeking to "erase" himself. Eat me, America, he prays, and give me peace.
But fury is all around him. Cabdrivers spout invective. A serial killer is murdering women with a lump of concrete. The petty spats and bone-deep resentments of the metropolis engulf him. His own thoughts, emotions, and desires, meanwhile, are also running wild. A tall, green-eyed young blonde in a D'Angelo Voodoo baseball cap is in store for him. As is another woman, with whom he will fall in love and be drawn toward a different fury, whose roots lie on the far side of the world.
Fury is a work of explosive energy, at once a pitiless and pitch-black comedy, a profoundly disturbing inquiry into the darkest side of human nature, and a love story of mesmerizing force. It is also an astonishing portrait of New York. Not since the Bombay of Midnight's Children have a time and place been so intensely and accurately captured in a novel.
In his eighth novel, Salman Rushdie brilliantly entwines moments of anger and frenzy with those of humor, honesty, and intimacy. Fury is, above all, a masterly chronicle of the human condition.
From the Hardcover edition.
Una hermosa noche estrellada en la ciudad de Kahani, en el país de Alifbay, sucede algo terrible: el gran cuentacuentos Rashid Khalifa cae en un sueño tan, tan profundo que nada ni nadie logra despertarlo del sueño eterno, su hijo Luka debe embarcarse en un intrépido viaje por el Mundo Mágico y hacer frente a terribles obstáculos para robar lo único que puede ayudar a su padre: el Fuego de la Vida. Con la ayuda de un perro llamado Oso, un oso llamado Perro, una princesa pelirroja malcriada y su famosa alfombra voladora, Luka tiene que vencer obstáculos imposibles, derrotar a los terribles guardianes del Fuego y burlar al peligroso Napapadie.
Una asombrosa novela que combina magistralmente magia y humor, compromiso político, fantasía y humanidad.
Esta es la historia de Saleem Sinai, nacido en Bombay al filo de la medianoche del 15 de agosto de 1947, en el momento mismo en que la India, entre fuegos artificiales y multitudes, alcanza su independencia. El destino de Saleem queda inexorablemente unido al de su país, y sus peripecias personales reflejarán siempre la evolución política de la India o serán reflejadas por ella. Hijos de la medianoche es una asombrosa novela que combina magistralmente magia y humor, compromiso político, fantasía y humanidad.
La crítica ha dicho...
«Una de las grandes novelas del siglo.»
«Salman Rushdie se ha ganado el derecho de ser designado uno de nuestros mayores narradores.»
«Hijos de la medianoche vuelve a trazar el mapa literario de la India. Suena como un país encontrando su voz propia.»
The New York Times
«Una novela exuberante y lisérgica. Rushdie apabulla.»
The Washington Post
At the beginning of this stunning novel, Vina Apsara, a famous and much-loved singer, is caught up in a devastating earthquake and never seen again by human eyes. This is her story, and that of Ormus Cama, the lover who finds, loses, seeks, and again finds her, over and over, throughout his own extraordinary life in music. Their epic romance is narrated by Ormus's childhood friend and Vina's sometime lover, her "back-door man," the photographer Rai, whose astonishing voice, filled with stories, images, myths, anger, wisdom, humor, and love, is perhaps the book's true hero. Telling the story of Ormus and Vina, he finds that he is also revealing his own truths: his human failings, his immortal longings. He is a man caught up in the loves and quarrels of the age's goddesses and gods, but dares to have ambitions of his own. And lives to tell the tale.
Around these three, the uncertain world itself is beginning to tremble and break. Cracks and tears have begun to appear in the fabric of the real. There are glimpses of abysses below the surfaces of things. The Ground Beneath Her Feet is Salman Rushdie's most gripping novel and his boldest imaginative act, a vision of our shaken, mutating times, an engagement with the whole of what is and what might be, an account of the intimate, flawed encounter between the East and the West, a brilliant remaking of the myth of Orpheus, a novel of high (and low) comedy, high (and low) passions, high (and low) culture. It is a tale of love, death, and rock 'n' roll.
Uno de los títulos fundamentales de un escritor extraordinario.
En El último suspiro del Moro Salman Rushdie regresa a la misma tierra y a gente similar a la que describió en su magnífica Hijos de la medianoche: el último de los Zogoiby, Moraes el Moro, nos cuenta la historia de su familia desde su tumba en España, una historia que nos habla de la batalla entre la bondad y la maldad, de la belleza y del amor, del mestizaje y la pureza, y que no es otra cosa que una
alegoría de la India contemporánea.
"Utilizando de manera personalísima los recursos del realismo mágico esta saga familiar que recorre todo el siglo XX, combina genialmente lo cómico y lo fantástico, la invención y la narración histórica, y crea, con todo ello, un conjunto desbordante de vitalidad."
"Una novela absolutamente fabulosa."
"Un libro maravilloso, exuberante por su colorido y textura, de una envergadura magnífica, y enloquecidamente divertido."
Rushdie despliega magistralmente en Oriente, Occidente los motivos principales de su universo literario. Desde un prestamista que consigue un pelo de la barba del Profeta y se convierte al fundamentalismo hasta una familia india en el Londres de los sesenta agobiada por los contrastes socioculturales, estos nueve relatos tocan diversos temas cohesionados por dos hilos secretos: la escurridiza relación entre ficción y realidad y la tragicómica dualidad de pertenecer o no pertenecer a una cultura.
«Un gran triunfo literario: mágico, apasionado, sabio, hermoso y muy entretenido.»
The Toronto Star
Rushdie tuvo que cambiar radicalmente de vida después de 1988, año de publicación de Los versos satánicos. Dicha obra trajo consigo una fuerte polémica, desde la prohibición y quema del libro en los países musulmanes hasta graves disturbios tanto en Inglaterra como en Estados Unidos. El 14 de febrero de 1989, el ayatolá Jomeini proclamó una fatwa instando a la población musulmana a ejecutar a cualquier persona relacionada con la publicación del libro. Se llegó incluso a ofrecer una recompensa en efectivo por la muerte de Rushdie. Joseph Anton recoge este período de miedo y frustración.
A finales del siglo xvi, un extranjero llega a la corte de Akbar el Grande, emperador del Imperio mongol, en la fastuosa ciudad de Fatehpur Sikri. Es el portador de un secreto que podría proporcionarle la mayor de las fortunas o costarle la vida. Un secreto digno solo de los oídos del emperador: la historia de una mujer misteriosa, dueña de una belleza cautivadora y versada en las artes del encantamiento y la brujería, y de su viaje imposible a la lejana Florencia.
La crítica ha dicho...
«El mejor Rushdie desde Hijos de la medianoche.»
Los Ángeles, 1991. El embajador Maximilian Ophuls muere a plena luz del día ante la casa de India, su hija ilegítima. Lo apuñala su chófer musulmán, originario de Cachemira, quien se hace llamar Shalimar el payaso. Ophuls es un héroe de la resistencia de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, un hombre de gran talento intelectual y fuerte atractivo erótico, ex embajador estadounidense en la India y jefe antiterrorista de Estados Unidos. A primera vista, el crimen parece de naturaleza política, pero pronto se descubre que el móvil no es tan simple#
La crítica ha dicho...
«Salman Rushdie ha escrito su obra maestra.»
Un gran amor que se ha echado a perder, una pasión que se apoya en cimientos falsos y un tercer amor que, con un poco de suerte, a lo mejor sale bien.
Furia es una obra de energía explosiva, despiadada, y a la vez una comedia negra, una investigación profundamente inquietante del lado más oscuro de la naturaleza humana y de la sociedad opulenta. Pocas veces se ha logrado captar la esencia de un lugar y de un tiempo tan intensa y exactamente en una novela.
Secular moneylender and manic collector of treasures, Hashim lives a life of gentle honor until he discovers, washed up to his private quay, a great relic: a silver pendant bearing a strand of the Prophet’s hair.
From one of the most controversial novelists of the last century, world-renowned master of invention and allusion Salman Rushdie, “The Prophet’s Hair” vibrates with fantastical promise, smashing together cultures and worlds, fantasy with reality, into breathless and lush allegorical fable. Selected from Rushdie’s collection of nine enchanting short stories, East West.
An ebook short.