The Moor's Last Sigh | Critical Essay by Paul Gray

This literature criticism consists of approximately 1 page of analysis & critique of The Moor's Last Sigh.
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Critical Essay by Paul Gray

SOURCE: "Rushdie: Caught on the Fly," in Time, Vol. 147, No. 3, January 15, 1996, p. 70.

In the following essay, based on an interview with the author, Gray discusses the controversial nature of Rushdie's writing.

"My last novel, to put it mildly, divided its readers," says Salman Rushdie. That is putting it mildly indeed: his last novel was The Satanic Verses, which drew him the enmity of much of the Islamic world seven years ago. Since then things have changed, Rushdie hopes, for the better (though he is still subject to Ayatullah Knomeini's death sentence). On the phone from Australia, Rushdie talks enthusiastically of the "wonderful reception" his new book, The Moor's Last Sigh, has already received in far-flung swatches of the globe, many of which he has openly visited. "I've been in, I think, 11 countries other than England since September, including stops across Europe, Latin America and Australia. This book coming out is a sign of my coming out."

He still cannot visit his native India because his presence might set off riots. He says he is "rather delighted" by the response to his new novel by Indian readers. Though the book has largely been embargoed there, a number of government officials have requested and received signed copies.

Why has his fiction proved so incendiary? "I make public fictions as well as private ones. When you give your version of disputed events, you're bound to get up people's noses." Which he intends to keep doing. "For several years [after the fatwa] I was preoccupied by defending the principle of freedom of speech. With The Moor's Last Sigh, I went back to practicing that freedom."

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This section contains 277 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Paul Gray