NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle • Newsweek /The Daily Beast • The Seattle Times • The Economist • Kansas City Star • BookPage 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. Praise for Joseph Anton " Joseph Anton is a splendid book, the finest new memoir to cross my desk in many a year." --Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post "A harrowing, deeply felt and revealing document: an autobiographical mirror of the big, philosophical preoccupations that have animated Mr. Rushdie's work throughout his career." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Thoughtful and astute . . . This is an important book not only because of what it has to say about a man of principle who, under the threat of violence and death, stood firm for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also because of its implications about our times and fanatical religious intolerance in a frighteningly fragile world." -- USA Today (4 out of 4 stars) "Compelling, affecting . . . Joseph Anton demonstrates Mr. Rushdie's ability as a stylist and storyteller. . . . [He] reacted with great bravery and even heroism." -- The Wall Street Journal "Joseph Anton beautifully modulates between such moments of accidental hilarity and the higher purpose Rushdie saw in opposing--at all costs--any curtailment on a writer's freedom to say what he or she wants." -- The Boston Globe Read more about PageTurners: Joseph Anton
When Joe Bennett bought a six-pack of underwear in his local supermarket for $5.60, he wondered who on earth could be making any money, let alone profit, from the exchange. How many processes and middlemen are involved? Where and how is the underwear made? And who decides on the absorbent qualities of the gusset? Joe embarks on an odyssey to the new factory of the world, China, to trace his underwear back to their source. Along the way he discovers the extraordinarily balanced and intricate web of contacts and exchanges that makes global trade possible. Funny, wise and insightful, it is a wonderful and timely picture of the developed world s dependence on China to make all the bits and pieces of our lives9 everything from toothbrushes to overhead projectors and artificial kidneys. Read more about PageTurners: Where Underpants Come From
James C. Humes reveals shocking predictions made by Britain's most famous prime minister. Churchill didn't need a crystal ball to tell the future. Using his skills as a historian, he studied patterns of the past to make his eerily accurate forecasts, including the rise of European fascism, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the exact day of his own death as he entered his final years. Read more about PageTurners: Churchill: the prophetic statesman
This book is the story of the life of Nisa, a member of the !Kung tribe of hunter-gatherers from southern Africa's Kalahari desert. Told in her own words-earthy, emotional, vivid-to Marjorie Shostak , a Harvard anthropologist who succeeded, with Nisa's collaboration, in breaking through the immense barriers of language and culture, the story is a fascinating view of a remarkable woman. Read more about PageTurners: Nisa, the life and words of a !Kung woman
Henry David Thoreau was a sturdy individualist and a lover of nature. In March, 1845, he built himself a wooden hut on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived until September 1847. Walden is Thoreaus autobiograophical account of his Robinson Crusoe existence, bare of creature comforts but rich in contemplation of the wonders of nature and the ways of man. On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience is the classic protest against government's interference with individual liberty, and is considered one of the most famous essays ever written. Read more about PageTurners: Walden and Civil Disobedience
In the spring of 1895 the life of Constance Wilde changed irrevocably. Up until the conviction of her husband, Oscar, for homosexual crimes, she had held a privileged position in society. Part of a gilded couple, she was a popular children's author, a fashion icon, and a leading campaigner for women's rights. A founding member of the magical society The Golden Dawn, her pioneering and questioning spirit encouraged her to sample some of the more controversial aspects of her time. Mrs. Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in her own right. But that spring Constance's entire life was eclipsed by scandal. Forced to flee to the Continent with her two sons, her glittering literary and political career ended abruptly. She lived in exile until her death.
Franny Moyle now tells Constance's story with a fresh eye. Drawing on numerous unpublished letters, she brings to life the story of a woman at the heart of fin-de-siècle London and the Aesthetic movement. In a compelling and moving tale of an unlikely couple caught up in a world unsure of its moral footing, Moyle unveils the story of a woman who was the victim of one of the greatest betrayals of all time. Read more about PageTurners: Constance: the tragic and scandolous life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde
In this new version of his encyclopedic Freedom Riders, Raymond Arsenault offers a significantly condensed and tautly written account. Arsenault recounts how a group of volunteers--blacks and whites--came together to travel from Washington DC through the Deep South, defying Jim Crow laws in buses and terminals and putting their lives on the line for racial justice. News photographers captured the violence in Montgomery, shocking the nation and sparking a crisis in the Kennedy administration. Here are the key players--their fears and courage, their determination and second thoughts, and the agonizing choices they faced as they took on Jim Crow--and triumphed. Read more about PageTurners: Freedom Riders