Daytime Discussion: “Joseph Anton: a Memoir” by Salman Rushdie
April 17 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 amFree
In April, we’ll be reading “Joseph Anton: a Memoir” by Salman Rushdie. We’ll meet on Monday, April 17 at 10:30am in the Fiction Room of the Library. After March 20, you can pick up a copy of the book selection from the Circulation Desk or call the Library at 860-582-3121 to make arrangements for curbside pickup. Large type and audiobook on CD are also available for this title. This title is not available on hoopla.
You may register for this program by e-mailing email@example.com. New members are always welcome!
Synopsis: 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.