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Salman Rushdie Announces Memoir, 'Joseph Anton', Named After His Alias When In Hiding

Posted: 04/12/2012 12:19 pm Updated: 04/12/2012 4:33 pm

Rushdie Memoir

Salman Rushdie has written a memoir based on the time he spent hiding while under a fatwa that sentenced him to death in 1989.

His novel "The Satanic Verses" was accused by the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini as insulting the prophet Mohammed. The author then spent more than nine years in hiding. The alias he adopted, Joseph Anton, was based on the first names of two writers he loved: Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov.

That name is now being used as the title of his forthcoming book. “I made it the title of the book because it always felt very strange to be asked to give up my name, I was always uncomfortable about it, and I thought it might help dramatize, for the reader, the deep strangeness and discomfort of those years," reported The New York Times.

According to Rushdie's own website, in the book "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."

"Joseph Anton: A Memoir" is released on September 18th.

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Filed by Andrew Losowsky  |