14 May, 2021

Delhi Diary

My unscientific theory: Salman knew his satanic novel would create a controversy but that it wouldn’t be bad for sales

Delhi Diary

Litany of the Misspoken-to

Salman Rushdie’s Joseph Anton is one book by Mr Rushdie I intend to read cover to cover. As a result, I am announcing my resignation from the ‘Page 15 Club’ of Rushdie devotees who are ferociously vocal in their praise for the author but never seem to be able to get beyond the first few pages of his titles. Though reviews of the memoir have been decidedly mixed, with our own Pankaj Mishra doing a fine demolition job in The Guardian, I am already halfway through the 633-page tome.

It is the harrowing tale of a literary fugitive moving secretly from house to house in order to escape the assassin’s bullet. Salman seldom writes a thin book; happily, though, most of the material in Joseph Anton is riveting. How Mr Rushdie was able to remain sane in those years is a miracle; how he managed to...

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