Salman Rushdie

A master storyteller's favorite memoirs.



Salman Rushdie is the revered author of several novels, including Midnight's Children, winner of the Booker of Bookers, and The Satanic Verses. The latter's publication precipitated the events described in Rushdie's new memoir, Joseph Anton: his flight into hiding after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini proclaimed a fatwā requiring Rushdie's execution in 1989. Reviewer Graeme Wood calls it a book that "rattles with the terror of the moment." This week, Rushdie points us to three favorite memoirs. (It's worthwhile to compare these picks to his previous fiction recommendations.)


Books by Salman Rushdie



Living to Tell the Tale

By Gabriel García Márquez


"The highest praise one can give this memoir is that it's the equal of his fictional masterpieces, as beautifully written and imagined as any novel; and his description of the visit to his childhood home in Aracataca -- which he would re-invent as Macondo -- stops the heart."





The Liars' Club

By Mary Karr


"A book of tough, laconic beauty, both hard-boiled and lyrical, this is a landmark work of what is being called 'the age of the memoir.' Karr grows up in 'one of the ten ugliest towns on the planet' and yells and fights her way out of it. Unforgettable."





A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

By Dave Eggers


"This book is celebrated for its adventurous re-invention of the memoir form, with much post-modern trickery: the 'staggering genius' part of the title. But at its core, it's a profoundly moving story of an older brother doing his best to raise his younger brother after both their parents die within a month of each other. This, the 'heartbreaking work' beneath the brilliance, is what endures."

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.