Imaginary Homelands: essays and criticism, 1981-1991

(c) 1991; New York: Viking and Granta; ISBN: 0670838047

Imaginary Homelands is a collection of essays and criticism as the sub-title says. What the title doesn't make clear is the breadth and clarity of this collection. Here in one volume you have Rushdie's thoughts on everything from Umberto Eco to Commonwealth Literature. None of the essays is obtuse or incomprehensible, and all of them are revealing. If as Rushdie says "Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one", then something different must be said about essays.

Running the gamut of feelings from rebellion (Commonwealth Literature) to the desire for reconciliation and understanding (In Good Faith), this collection is poignant, not least because it is a break from Rushdie's fantastic novels.

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Salman Rushdie