Book review: Joseph Anton, By Salman Rushdie
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 26 July 2013
Named for his cover identity, Rushdie's third-person memoir of life under the fatwa is both a precious document, and an immersive read.
Sprawling, intimate, surreal, it exerts a mesmeric hold. It tells the story of four marriages, two children; of fear, love, grief.
It hands out bouquets: to pals, protectors, campaigners, the Met. And it casts the odd curse – fiercely, on timid appeasers of the zealots' killing fury.
It also ranks as a landmark in the genre of "non-fiction novel": not In Cold Blood, thank the gods, but In Cold Sweat.
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