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East, West

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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Short Stories

East, West

By Salman Rushdie

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Format: Hardback, 224 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 06 October 1994
In these nine short stories Salman Rushdie looks at what happens when East meets West, at the forces that pull his characters first in one direction, then the other. Fantasy and realism collide as a rickshaw driver writes letters describing his film star career in Bombay; a mispronunciation leads to romance and an unusual courtship in sixties London; two childhood friends turned diplomats live out in a violent world fantasies hatched by STAR TREK; and Christopher Columbus dreams of consummating his relationship with Queen Isabella. The Stories in EAST, WEST show the extraordinary range and power of Rushdie's writing. With great skill and a tenderness that is often deeply moving, Rushdie explores the complicated relationship of coloniser and colonised, the intimacy and distance, the shared history and the misunderstandings that both bind and separate East and West.

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Rushdie's collection of nine highly postmodern stories probes the differences and connections between East and West, celebrating the hybrid nature of contemporary identity. (Jan.)

The storied Rushdie (The Satanic Verses, LJ 12/88) provides nine stories, in groups of three, under the categories of "East," "West," and "East, West." Although these geographical headers do predict setting, theme, ethnicity, ethos, etc., the arrangement is much less satisfying than the stories themselves. Ironic, wry, and observant, this collection moves seamlessly from the simple O. Henry-ish "Good Advice Is Rarer than Rubies" to the complicated "The Courter," with its Four Seasons' song lyrics, coming-of-age theme, and crazy old porter, "Mixed-up," who turns out to be a chess Grand Master. The centerpiece may be "Yorick," a brilliant sendup of/tribute to Sterne, using the titular character's reference points in both Hamlet and Tristram Shandy; this story alone is worth the price of admission. For most collections, both academic and public. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/94.]-Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.

EAN: 9780224041348
ISBN: 0224041347
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Age Range: 15+ years
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