The subjects of Salman Rushdie's collection of non-fiction range from The Wizard of Oz, U2, India and Indian writing, the death of Princess Diana, and football, to twentieth-century writers including Angela Carter, Arthur Miller, Edward Said, J. M. Coetzee and Arundhati Roy.
In a central section, 'Messages from the Plague Years', Rushdie focuses on the fight against the Iranian fatwa, presenting texts both personal and political, which show for the first time how it was to live through those days. Rushdie's columns for the New York Times confront current issues - Kashmir, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Islam and the West - as well as lighter topics such as reality TV, sport and sleaze. The book ends with the lectures that give it its title - Rushdie's exploration of the theme of frontiers: crossing them, breaking taboos, and - in the light of September 11 - the world of permeable frontiers in which we all live.
"This impressive book limits itself to neither the light-hearted nor the undisturbably grave"
"He has a great deal to say-a likeable, readable and profoundly gripping book"
"Ten years of Salman Rushdie's incisive non-fiction"
"Rushdie has used all his experience and literary skills to defend what is most worth defending: our freedom to think, and say, and write what we want, without fear for our lives"
"Rushdie is the most assiduous reader of other people's work, a true and tireless man of literature...a total believer in the power of the word"
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