Join the Southwest Book Club to discuss Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie. Rushdie writes a memoir of his nine years spent underground after he was sentenced to death by the Ayatollah Khomeini for his controversial novel, The Satanic Verses.
Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library. For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 16
Library Meeting Room
If you are unable to attend the meeting or you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!
1. The memoir is written in the third-person, an unusual perspective for memoirs, which are usually first-person accounts. Why might Rushdie have used this point-of-view?
2. How does the Islamic world view The Satanic Verses? Why is it considered blasphemous? What is Rushdie's own view of the book? In what way does he say that the work is a "much more personal, interior exploration" than, say, Midnight's Children?
3. Rushdie considers the fatwa, as "a terrorist act that had to be confronted." He believes the world's leaders had and have an obligation to "defend his right to be a troublemaker." Do you agree?
4. In September, 2012, the very month that Joseph Anton was published, a film derogatory to Islam and Mohammed, produced by a small group in California, was released on YouTube. Considered blasphemous, the film inflamed Muslim anger throughout the Middle East. Should there be limits to the freedom of artistic speech? Criticism of religions is illegal in Germany, for instance. In the U.S. and other Western countries, however, free speech is granted almost absolute protection. Is it a government's responsibility to protect authors like Rushdie, cartoonists in the Netherlands, or film producers in California, who allegedly blaspheme religions? What do you think?
Discussion questions obtained at http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/14-non-fiction/8919-joseph-anton-rushdie