East, West

East, West

by Salman Rushdie


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From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Satanic Verses comes nine stories that reveal the oceanic distances and the unexpected intimacies between East and West. Daring, extravagant, comical and humane, this book renews Rushdie's stature as a storyteller who can enthrall and instruct us with the same sentence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679757894
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/23/1995
Series: Vintage International Series
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 609,502
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

Salman Rushdie's latest novel, The Moor's Last Sigh, was published by Knopf Canada in September 1995.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

June 19, 1947

Place of Birth:

Bombay, Maharashtra, India


M.A. in History, King's College, University of Cambridge

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East, West 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
P_S_Patrick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a collection of stories split into 3 sections, East, West, and East West. The stories are written in a variety of styles, one is an alternative version of Hamlet, packed with puns and wit, while some of the other stories are more serious, and convey a moral message. One of these, titled the Auction of the Ruby Slippers, or something like that, is a surreal story, with a thinly veiled warning against consumerism. Another story shows the difficulty foreigners have in identifying with two conflicting cultures, while others deal with diverse themes including the strange relationship between Columbus and Queen Isabella of Spain, and another is concerned the supernatural effects of the theft of a prophets hair. There are only 9 stories in this short (211p) book, some longer than others, but they are all poingant. It will be worth rereading these stories again, in the future, as there is probably hidden meaning in some of them, and they are well written. It would have been nice if the book were a bit longer, but those wanting something more substantial can look to one of his novels for that. This is something a bit different, and should be found refreshing for Rushdie fans who have only read his novels so far.
bexaplex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
East, West is organized into three chapters: three stories in "East" include a play on the business of fake passports, one young man's loss of faith in the government and their sterility program, and the curse of the Prophet Muhammad's hair. Three stories in "West" include a play on Hamlet, a futuristic auction of Dorothy's ruby slippers, and a historical imagining of Columbus's bizarre love affair with Isabella. "East, West"'s stories feature pairs of characters from England and India.The connection to the characters was stronger for me in stories like "Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies" where Rushdie wasn't mining literary characters or historical/religious figures for material. Although I loved "Chekov and Zulu" because, well, Star Trek.
CloggieDownunder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
East, West is the first collection of short stories by Salman Rushdie. There are nine stories, six of which have been published previously in magazines. In the East section: Good Advice Is Rarer Than Rubies, where a woman seeking a permit to London gets some good advice from an advice wallah, but uses it is a way he doesn¿t expect; The Free Radio, where a rickshaw driver maintains his faith in a government reward from the sterilisation clinic; and The Prophet¿s Hair, where we learn that crime, especially in the form of theft of a holy relic, definitely does not pay. These have a decidedly eastern flavour. In the West section: Yorick, an interesting prologue to Hamlet that Shakespeare scholars might well enjoy; At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers, a speculation on what might be auctioned in an alternate world; Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella of Spain Consummate Their Relationship, a speculation of what Columbus endured at the Spanish court. Finally, in the East, West section: The Harmony of Spheres, which explores a friend with schizophrenia, and has quite a twist in the tail; Chekov and Zulu, which looks at Indian diplomats in Britain during the time of Indira Ghandi¿s assassination and has very much the flavour of the Satanic Verses; and The Courter, a delightful tale of romance, cartoons and chess in the elderly, which has a slightly sinister edge to it. Rushdie¿s mastery of the language means these are filled with wonderful prose. His mock-Shakespearean and mimic-Indian are particularly entertaining. If there was not an autobiographical touch in The Harmony of Spheres and especially in The Courter, then these are certainly written from close experience, and are definitely my favourites.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My last book of the year was another good buy from the library sale shelf.Nine very different short stories - three about the East, three about the West, and three about what happens when East meets West. My favourites were "At the Auction of the Ruby Slipper", with its futuristic setting, and the Tristram Shandy pastiche, "Yorick".
pingobarg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
either ya love the guy, or ya don't. i love the guy.
anyotherbizniz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating curate's egg of a collection.The first three "East" stories are disarmingly charming. My favourite story in the book is the first story "Good Advice Is Rarer Than Rubies", which is brilliantly simple, beautiful, romantic and unsurprisingly surprising; the very image of the principal character, on whom I think I have a bit of a crush. The following two stories are distinctly, charmingly, but very differently eastern - first "The Free radio" a modern parable with the bones of the dark side of India poking through and then "The Prophet¿s Hair" which has that whole One Thousand and One Nights thing going on.The second three "West" stories are, in sharp contrast, everything I dislike about smart-arsed english story telling in the knowing post magic realism world. They read like bad pastiches of Julian Barnes meets Tom Stoppard, ie "Yorick"; or of David Mitchell, ie " At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers" or Julian Barnes dumoing Stoppard for my mum ", ie "Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella of Spain Consummate Their Relationship". All three were to me as bad as the first three were good. Did Rushdie write them partcularly badly to make some point about western literature?But the last three "East meets West" are really the whole point of the book for me. All three explore the interaction of modern Western culture with ancient Eastern culture. All happen within the UK and within a very British society which is far more than just the backdrop - it is almost a character in the stories. I agree with the other reviewer that these three stories really do show Rushdie¿s mastery of the language and are filled with wonderful prose. All that and a there is a sexy Mauritian in the book too.If it hadn't been for the disappointing middle section I would be saying this is the best book of short stories I have read for some years.
tdfangirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that I haven't read the entire collection of stories yet, but this is worth it for "The Prophet's Hair" alone. I love Rushdie's writing style.
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