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Tristram Rushdie

Pat Rogers, 15 September 1983

by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 287 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02952 5
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by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 233 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 241 11101 3
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Love and Glory 
by Melvyn Bragg.
Secker, 252 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 06716 1
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The Complete Knowledge of Sally Fry 
by Sylvia Murphy.
Gollancz, 172 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 575 03353 3
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... coupling as in (exactly as in, that’s rather the trouble) a fight for love-’n’-glory. Salman Rushdie’s word is a real operative concept, indeed a kind of virtue insistently contrasted with shamelessness. A.N. Wilsons term is more ironic and oblique, suggestive of the British public in a fit of morality: you get the sense that maybe too much ...


Susannah Clapp: On Angela Carter, 12 March 1992

... free of foliage and dwindled. They changed into Special Branch men, moving forward to enclose Salman Rushdie, who had been speaking at his friend’s service. The hullabaloo they evoked bore out a Carter point which had been cited by Rushdie as an example of her genial frankness. When her lung cancer was diagnosed ...

Imagine his dismay

Carlos Fraenkel: Salman Rushdie, 18 February 2016

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 286 pp., £18.99, September 2015, 978 1 910702 03 1
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... Salman Rushdie​ ’s latest novel is a version of The Arabian Nights – two years, eight months and 28 nights adds up to 1001 of them. But it’s updated in every way. The climax, set in present-day New York, is an apocalyptic battle between reason and unreason, good and evil, light and darkness, with all the bells and whistles of a Hollywood blockbuster – X-Men, The Avengers, Star Wars, to name a few of the movies and comic books Rushdie nods to ...

The Profusion Effect

Michael Wood: Salman Rushdie’s ‘Quichotte’, 12 September 2019

by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 397 pp., £20, August 2019, 978 1 78733 191 4
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... camera, what hidden authority or confirmation supports the angle of vision and choice of material? Salman Rushdie is, among many other things, a master of the missing camera, endlessly reminding us of what it is doing, and it is a pleasure to see him, in his new novel, working so closely with Cervantes, perhaps greatest of all ancestors in this art. A lot ...

Flame-Broiled Whopper

Theo Tait: Salman Rushdie, 6 October 2005

Shalimar the Clown 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 398 pp., £17.99, September 2005, 0 224 06161 5
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... in general, really an extension of our knowledge or feeling about life, and not simply a trick.’ Salman Rushdie’s two best books manage both these things – the big political picture and the telling individual detail – in different quantities. Midnight’s Children (1981) is a family story first and a political allegory about India second: a ...

Indian Summa

John Lanchester, 22 April 1993

A Suitable Boy 
by Vikram Seth.
Phoenix, 1349 pp., £20, March 1993, 1 897580 20 7
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... also rupee-driven, and are more acclamatory still; the favourite comparison is with Middlemarch. Salman Rushdie writes to the papers to deny a rumour that he had dismissed the novel as a soap-opera: he says he’s two hundred pages in and going strong. On the other hand, the first American review calls the book ‘a cream puff’. Proust somewhere says ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Nephews and Daughters, 23 January 2003

... agreed. Few I suspect would go as far as John Sutherland (64) – the irrepressible champion of Salman Rushdie (55), whose most recent novel, Fury, wasn’t otherwise very well received – who has said he thinks novels shouldn’t be written by people under 50. Despite all of which, the most media attention in the aftermath of the Granta announcement ...


Carolyne Wright: Taslima Nasreen gets them going, 8 September 1994

... since the publication in February 1993 of her first short novel, Lajja (Shame, in emulation of Salman Rushdie’s book of the same name). Lajja became a runaway bestseller in Bangladesh and West Bengal despite its hurried composition. As Nasreen herself has declared in interviews, her style is blunt and deliberately provocative, dramatic to the point ...

Experiments with Truth

Robert Taubman, 7 May 1981

Midnight’s Children 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 446 pp., £6.95, April 1981, 9780224018234
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... Fantasy is one of the big and most successful departments of the novel, but its true flavour in Salman Rushdie seems to me less a matter of invention than of observation. He observes reality being naturally extravagant with a humorous appreciation that is very like Dickens’s – as in a visit to a Delhi tenement: here, near the top, she sees dark ...


Hilary Mantel, 4 April 1996

Behind the Scenes at the Museum 
by Kate Atkinson.
Black Swan, 382 pp., £6.99, January 1996, 0 552 99618 1
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... after Kate Atkinson’s first novel won the Whitbread Prize, the Guardian’s headline read: ‘Rushdie makes it a losing double.’ Thus Rushdie is reminded of his disappointments, Atkinson gets no credit, and the uninformed reader assumes that this year’s Whitbread is a damp squib. But read on. ‘A 44-year-old ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: ‘Big Brother’, 5 June 2003

... Idol, Joe Millionaire, Fear Factor and The Bachelor, the other most successful examples of what Salman Rushdie has called the ‘unashamed self-display of the talentless’. On US cable, moreover, there is Reality Central to look forward to, a ‘new 24/7 cable television network devoted solely to the reality television programming genre and its ...


Elaine Showalter: My Year of Living Dangerously, 2 April 1998

... or extra-terrestrials. The book made a lot of people furious, but was hardly New Jersey’s Salman Rushdie. True, my one-week cross-country American book tour had been a mite intense. ‘We’re going to rip you to shreds,’ a woman doctor hissed at me in the corridor of a Baltimore television studio. ‘Bullets are too good for you!’ snarled a ...

Deadly Fetishes

Terry Eagleton, 6 October 1994

East, West 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 224 pp., £9.99, October 1994, 0 224 04134 7
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... ideology, all things seem equally possible. The comma between ‘East’ and ‘West’ in Salman Rushdie’s title thus forms a bridge as well as marking a gap, as we move within the book – itself divided into three sections (‘East’, ‘West’ and ‘East, West’) – from an Eastern to a Western way of dividing up the real. The former ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Blurbs and puffs, 20 July 2006

... good). Franzen’s willingness to give a junior colleague a leg-up is surpassed only by that of Salman Rushdie, J.M. Coetzee and Thomas Pynchon. There’s clearly a connection between reclusiveness and readiness to puff, even if Rushdie’s withdrawal from the public eye was neither voluntary nor permanent. Maybe ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Tweeting at an Execution, 6 October 2011

... in Georgia. The Twitterati were up all night, arguing, pleading, praying, crying. They included Salman Rushdie, Mia Farrow and Alec Baldwin, as well as millions of people followed only by their sister and their boyfriend, asking what the killing of this 42-year-old man would say to the world about America. Troy Davis had been on death row for 20 ...

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