Salman Rushdie

Recommended reading from a master storyteller.


It might have been hard for many to predict that the author of dazzling novels like Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses would turn his hand to stories for children, but his marvelous Haroun and the Sea of Stories proved that Salman Rushdie's talent for weaving ancient and modern narratives into new forms cast just as magical a spell on young readers. His new book, Luka and the Fire of Life, centers on Haroun's younger brother Luka, who must travel through enchanted realms in a quest to save his father's life. We asked the author to recommend three books he loves to read when he lays aside his storytelling labors.


Books by Salman Rushdie



One Hundred Years of Solitude

By Gabriel García Márquez


"When William Kennedy reviewed this book for the New York Times Book Review he suggested that it was the first book since the Bible that should be required reading for the entire human race, and he was probably right—not because it's a work of instruction but because it's the most joyful reading experience there is. This is the novel that came to define 'magical realism,' and became so influential in Latin America that the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes joked that it was no longer possible to use the phrase 'one hundred years' without people thinking you were referring to García Márquez, and it might soon also become impossible to use the word 'solitude.'"



The Tin Drum

By Günter Grass


"Little Oskar Matzerath of Danzig (now Gdansk), with a voice that can shatter glass, decides to stop growing on his third birthday, the very day that he is given a tin drum as a present, and as a result he remains child-sized. shrieking and drumming, throughout the horrors of Nazism. His story, Grass's masterpiece, is simply the greatest account of the mid-twentieth-century German nightmare, its surreal black comedy perfectly suited to its material."



The Master and Margarita

By Mikhail Bulgakov


"The great Russian surrealist novel, fully the equal of the German and Latin American masterworks above. The Devil comes to Moscow and wreaks havoc, accompanied by his sidekicks, a sharpshooting cat with six guns and a thin fellow who can disappear by turning sideways. Among others, the Devil meets a writer known as the master and his lover, Margarita, who becomes a witch. The master has been writing a variant version of the life of Christ as seen from the point of view of Pontius Pilate. In a fit of despair he has burned the manuscript but the Devil, pointing out in a justly famous phrase that 'manuscripts don't burn' (ideas can't be destroyed), gives it back to him, intact. This novel, more than any other, was useful to me when I was planning The Satanic Verses."

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.