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Description - East, West by Salman Rushdie

In these nine stories Salman Rushdie looks at what happens when East meets West, at the forces that pull his characters first in one direction, then the other. Fantasy and realism collide as a rickshaw driver writes letters describing his film star career in Bombay; a mispronunciation leads to romance and an unusual courtship in sixties London; two childhood friends turned diplomats live out in a violent world fantasies hatched by STAR TREK; and Christopher Columbus dreams of cunsummating his relationship with Queen Isabella. The stories in EAST, WEST show the extraordinary range and power of Salman Rushdie's writing.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099533016
ISBN-10: 0099533014
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 12mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - East, West by Salman Rushdie

UK Kirkus Review » An inventive and powerfully lyrical collection, divided into three sections: 'East', 'West' and 'East, West'. Rushdie translates both of these worlds onto the page, and synthesizes their multifarious cultures - a result of his unique personal perception heightened by extraordinary circumstance. Brilliant. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Nine stories, six of which have been previously published, that successfully explore the tensions and confusions that so often muddle relations between East and West. Divided into three groups, the stories are a reminder that Rushdie (Haroun and the Sea of Stories, 1991, etc.), the accomplished postmodern fabulist, is also a splendid realist storyteller who describes the human heart with clear-eyed sympathy. Grouped under the heading "EAST," the first trio describes an encounter between a young Pakistani woman and an advice expert, who doesn't understand why the young woman is happy when the British Consulate rejects her application to join her aging fiance in England ("Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies"); a poor young man, who has "the rare quality of total belief in his dreams" of moviedom success and who is sterilized because he believes the Indian government will give him a free radio ("The Free Radio"); and two children who try to have their greedy father robbed of a precious religious relic he is determined to add to his collection ("The Prophet's Hair"). Of the three stories in "WEST," the most accomplished is "At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers," which describes a world where auctioneers "establish the value of our pasts, of our futures, of our lives" as they auction off movie memorabilia and cultural icons that help us be what "we fear we are not - somebody." The stories in the final section, "EAST, WEST," are all set in England. A young Indian learns too late of a betrayal by a now-dead English friend ("The Harmony of the Spheres"); two Indian diplomats, Star Trek fans and old school chums, have a prophetic conversation while posted in England ("Chekov and Zulu"); and a young Indian, recalling the unlikely friendship between his ayah and an elderly chess player in London, refuses to choose between East and West ("The Courter"). A product of both worlds, Rushdie builds a safe passage over the seemingly unbridgeable with generous insight and wry humor in this distinguished collection. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of seven novels: Grimus, Midnight's Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Prize), Shame (winner of the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger), The Satanic Verses (winner of the Whitbread Prize for best novel), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (winner of the Writer's Guild Award), The Moor's Last Sigh and The Ground Beneath Her Feet. He has also published a collection of short stories, East, West; a book of reportage, The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey; a volume of essays, Imaginary Homelands; and a work of film criticism, 'The Wizard of Oz'. Salman Rushdie was awarded Germany's Author of the Year award for his novel The Satanic Verses in 1989. In 1993, Midnight's Children was adjudged the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In the same year he was awarded the Austrian Stat Prize for European Literature. He is also an Honorary Professor in the Humaities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His books have been published in more than two dozen languages.

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