Joseph Anton is a special book for me. The picture below answers why.
Salman Rushdie arguably is the most misunderstood author of present times. I really don’t know why people hate him to the core. The only reason I can figure out that everyone knows is “The Satanic Verses”. I have read the book and I personally think there is nothing wrong with what he has written in there, if only you can keep a neutral perspective about things. After reading The Satanic Verses from an e-book I downloaded from the internet, I was thinking what this man must have gone through after Fatwas on his name were issues. Joseph Anton answered every question that I had.
Right from the beginning till the end, I was hooked to the book. I don’t know why people say Rushdie’s writing is not relatable. I never found so. His writing is relatable if only you are engrossed in the story. Once you sail through first 50-60 pages of his books, then you can’t stop yourself. It has happened with me with all his books that I have read so far. Magical Realism magically captivates you. But Joseph Anton is something very different.
Here, Salman Rushdie, who always promotes free speech has shared his life after Fatwa was issued on his name, that too on the Valentines day, 14th Feb, 1989. He has told everything about his life before, during and post that phase. How he shifted from one house to the other, his kids, his marriages, his friends, his relationships with his publishers, two of them were shot dead as well. How he thought of becoming something else other than a writer. How he kept writing through the whole phase.
Rushdie has brilliantly written this book in Third person. The title of the book is taken from his name that he used when he was in hiding, using the names of two of his favourite writers Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekov – hence Joseph Anton. Interesting, isn’t it.
I highly recommend this book to everyone and specially those those people who have self-conceived notions about Salman Rushdie. I am sure most of you haven’t even read The Satanic Verses because whomsoever I have spoken to about him hates him without any proper reason. While reading this 633 page book, you would actually question yourself, does freedom of speech really exists on this planet.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Jonathan Cape
Genre : Memoir, Autobiography
ISBN : 978-0-224-09397-2