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  • Published: 18 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448155606
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 656

Joseph Anton

A Memoir

A frank and compelling account of one of the most extraordinary stories in recent history, from the author of Midnight’s Children.

From the author of The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children comes an unflinchingly honest and fiercely funny account of a life turned upside-down.

On Valentine’s Day, 1989, Salman Rushdie received a telephone call from a BBC journalist that would change his life forever: Ayatollah Khomeini, a leading Muslim scholar, had issued him with a death sentence. This is his own account of how he was forced to live in hiding for over a decade; at once intimate and explosive, this is the personal tale behind the international story.

How does a man live with the constant threat of murder? How does he continue to work when deprived of his freedom? How does he sustain friendships, or fall in and out of love? How does he fight back? For over a decade, Salman Rushdie dwelt in a world of secrecy and disguise, a world of security guards and armoured cars, of aliases and code names.

In Joseph Anton, Rushdie tells the remarkable story of one of the crucial battles, in our time, for freedom of speech.

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize

  • Published: 18 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448155606
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 656

About the author

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Midnight's Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), The Satanic Verses, and Quichotte (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize). A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature and was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen's last Birthday Honours list in 2022.

Also by Salman Rushdie

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Praise for Joseph Anton

Joseph Anton is a book that makes you laugh. It makes you sympathise. It may even scare you. It should also make you — if you believe that freedom is essential — very, very angry.

David Aaronovitch, Times

Joseph Anton is a splendid book, the finest new memoir to cross my desk in many a year

Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

Absorbing… Rushdie is compelling here

Robert Collins, Sunday Times (Culture)

An intimate tale of fathers and sons, of the beginnings and ends of marriages, of friendships and betrayals. At the same time, Joseph Anton is a large-scale spectacle of political and cultural conflicts.

New York Times Book Review

Describes the painful process by which a human being becomes a symbol

Sunday Telegraph (Seven)

Frank and…more gripping than any spy story…the prose makes for powerful reading... He is a great writer who has been brave.

Margaret Drabble, Observer

Funny, painfully moving and absolutely necessary to read

Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph

Poignant and honest

Big Issue in the North

Sprawling, intimate, surreal, it exerts a mesmeric hold

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

This is tense thriller even if we know the outcome

Fiona Wilson, The Times