Joseph Anton: A Memoir is a compelling account of Salman Rushdie’s life in hiding that lasted ten years, because of the fatwa issued against him.
Summary Of The Book
Salman Rushdie published his fourth novel The Satanic Verses in 1988, which soon became his most controversial work. The Indian government banned it even before its release, but this was not the end. Very soon Rushdie had to face the repercussions for his work such as protests by the Muslim communities in Islamabad and the UK. On 14th February 1989, a BBC journalist informed Rushdie that a fatwa has been issued against him by the spiritual and political leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini. His crime was that his book was accused of being against Islam and the Quran. Rushdie had never heard of the word fatwa and he was unaware of what was going to happen to him. And thus began an extraordinary tale of a world renowned author who was forced to go underground for fear that he would be assassinated.
Joseph Anton: A Memoir is a frank, brutal, moving, provocative, and honest account of Rushdie’s life after this fatwa. He was under constant vigilance by a team of armed police. The police asked him to choose an alias in order to go underground. Rushdie combined the names of two of his favorite authors Conrad and Chekhov to come up with the name Joseph Anton. Joseph Anton: A Memoir is an autobiographical book that takes the reader down into the heart of darkness and relates the story of a victim of state-sponsored terror. It reveals how some powerful people such as religious zealots and mullahs are ready to kill Rushdie just because of a novel. It is a tale of betrayal, fanaticism, fury, and terror that also showcases a man’s valor, spirit, and love in a ten-year long struggle between the forces of freedom and oppression.
Joseph Anton: A Memoir consists of over 600 pages recounting the toughest decade Rushdie spent during the fatwa years. He was forced into isolation, was not allowed to board airlines, went through a broken marriage, had to face restricted movement, and had to face threats of assassination and attacks by the media. This incident was the first of its kind on an international level. In 2012, Joseph Anton: A Memoir was announced among one of the 14 titles in the longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize.
About Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie is an award-winning and controversial British Indian novelist. Rushdie’s other published books are Grimus, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Shalimar The Clown, Shame, The Enchantress of Florence, Fury, and The Satanic Verses. Born in 1947 in Mumbai in a Muslim family, Rushdie graduated in history from King's College, University of Cambridge. He began his career as a copywriter with Ogilvy & Mather, where he wrote his first novel Midnight's Children. He was listed among the top 50 greatest British authors since 1945 by The Times and has won various other awards. He has been married four times in his life.
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