Step Across This Line

Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

Publisher: Vintage Canada
From one of the great novelists of our day, a vital, brilliant new book of essays, speeches and articles essential for our times.

Step Across This Line showcases the other side of one of fiction’s most astonishing conjurors. On display is Salman Rushdie’s incisive, thoughtful and generous mind, in prose that is as entertaining as it is topical. The world is here, captured in pieces on a dazzling array of subjects: from New York’s Amadou Diallo case to the Wizard of Oz, from U2 to fifty years of Indian writing, from a tribute to Angela Carter to the struggle to film Midnight’s Children. The title essay was originally delivered at Yale as the 2002 Tanner lecture on human values, and examines the changing meaning of frontiers in the modern world -- moral and metaphorical frontiers as well as physical ones.

The collection chronicles Rushdie’s intellectual journeys, but it is also an intimate invitation into his life: he explores his relationship to India through a moving diary of his first visit there in over a decade, “A Dream of Glorious Return.” Step Across This Line also includes “Messages From the Plague Years,” a historic set of letters, articles and reflections on life under the fatwa. Gathered together for the first time, this is Rushdie’s humane, intelligent and angry response to a grotesque threat, aimed not just at him but at free expression itself.

Step Across This Line, Salman Rushdie’s first collection of non-fiction in a decade, has the same energy, imagination and erudition as his astounding novels -- along with some very strong opinions.


From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

From Part I: Essays

Out of Kansas
I wrote my first short story in Bombay at the age of ten. Its title was “Over the Rainbow.” It amounted to a dozen or so pages, was dutifully typed up by my father’s secretary on flimsy paper, and was eventually lost somewhere along my family...
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PRAISE FOR

“A moral tonic.... A book about freedom, its glories and its costs.” The Globe and Mail

“A beacon of sanity…. In an age of religious fanatics, patriotic zealots and self-righteous leftists, Salman Rushdie champions free thinking and fun.” Salon

“Salman Rushdie is a storyteller of prodigious powers, able to conjure up whole geographies, causalities, climates, creatures, customs, out of thin air.” The New York Times Book Review

“This book is full of so much that is ‘relevant’ that the very word seems inadequate.” Los Angeles Times

“Sometimes pensive, sometimes marvelously funny, always lucid essays, reviews, and occasional pieces by the renowned Anglo-Indian novelist.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“The essays crackle with [Rushdie’s] enthusiasm, humor, and intelligence.” The Miami Herald


From the Trade Paperback edition.