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Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Newly collected, revised, and expanded nonfiction--including many texts never previously in print--from the first two decades of the twenty-first century by the Booker Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author

Salman Rushdie is celebrated as a storyteller of the highest order, illuminating truths about our society and culture through his gorgeous, often searing pros
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 25th 2021 by Random House
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Kasa Cotugno
This may be my favorite book this year.

So much to address here, so much richness on full display on a number of subjects and of course, literature being the most prominent as that is the what most people think of when they think of Sir Rushdie. Along with the publication of George Saunders's A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, several of the entries included in this anthology present a master class in the understanding and exploration of the finer points of literature, as Rushdie has included lecture
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An erudite book which rockets you in several directions, discovering new authors, artists and deliciously plumbing new depths of stupidity in politics. As records of speeches it brings Rushdie into your reading room in a direct vivid manner, something lockdown has lacked and connects writer to reader immediately.
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
The erudition is impressive. From Proteus to Marquez, Roth to Cervantes, Pinter to Hans Christian Anderson; Osama to Ai Weiwei to hijras in India; Amrita Sher-Gil and Bhupen Khakhar to Taryn Simon and Kara Walker. Rushdie knows much, has opinions and is not shy about holding forth. Thankfully it’s Rushdie - his writing is fabulous and you can rest assured that even when he is talking of the novels of Samuel Becket or artists you have never heard of, you will not be bored. I particularly loved ‘W ...more
Angie Boyter
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
There are 38 essays in this collection, so it should come as no surprise that the subjects are wide-ranging. The emphasis is on the arts, ALL of the arts, including literature, films, stage, painting, and photography. Given Rushdie’s background it is also not surprising that the scope is worldwide, including persons most Americans have probably never heard of. There are also perspectives on society around the world, with some special emphasis on Rushdie’s native India. Some get personal, includi ...more
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
In addition to publications, many of the essays compiled here come from lectures or presentations given by Rushdie over the years, providing the reader the opportunity to sit in the classroom or the audience and learn from a master. Whether it is the craft of writing or political events, each topic is approached with confidence and laser focus. At times, perhaps, the confidence crosses the line into arrogance, but with the many years of success as well as the dues he has paid, Rushdie can probab ...more
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Salman Rushdie’s essay collection, Languages of Truth spans over almost two decades. In this collection, Rushdie covers storytelling, writing, art and his views on the world with a few sprinkles of name-dropping. Rushdie also illustrates a vulnerable look into his personal life.

His literary voice is singular and his perspective is unique. Rushdie’s wit and wisdom is enlightening and his reflections are full of shocking insight.

I was enthralled from the very first essay to the last one. However
Dev Pradhan
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
"For innovation, for newness we must turn to irrealism and find new ways of approaching the truth through lies."

Languages of Truth is a collection of essays and speeches on writing, language, criticism, storytelling and fiction by Salman Rushdie from the last two decades. The book gripped me from the first essay, 'Wonder Tales' which is about importance of stories. However, there were essays which I found uninteresting because I had no background on them.

The first essay was my favourite in this
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually one for collections of essays or short stories, but I'll make an exception for this. Not only were the essays fantastic, but they made me want to stop and go read (or reread) whatever he was talking about. ...more
May 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
My thanks to both NetGalley and Random House for a copy of this book.

Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020, the new collection of essays by the writer Salman Rushdie is not only well written, as goes without saying, and well argued, but is filled with the trenchant criticism, jokes and pop culture references and personal reflections long time readers have come to expect. Culled from introductions from literary collections, college lectures and other media, the essays cover classical literature, w
What an astonishing snob. Rushdie may well have a lot to say about the art and craft of writing, and about the place of fantasy in literature, and "We are all dreaming creatures. Dream on paper," is a wonderful encouragement to replace "Write what you know." But to continue with, "And if it turns out like Twilight or The Hunger Games, tear it up, and try to have a better dream," is a disgusting disparagement of works that are popular entertainment. This classism that holds some works up to be "G ...more
Kathleen Gray
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a treat. This collection of 38 essays, divided into four sections, comprises previously published essays, unpublished essays and speeches. Rushdie has always been a vibrant writer and incisive commentator and this collection highlights his interest in truth, language, and art. It's impossible to categorize. I dipped in and out to savor the philosophical perspective he brings to everything as well as the writing. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. One to put by your side. ...more
Sarah Holz
Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
I can never decide if I like Rushdie’s nonfiction more when we agree (i.e., Shakespeare) or disagree (i.e., Ulysses), but I always enjoy picking his brain for what art — written and visual — is energizing him at any given moment. As a writer still straddling the East/West divide so many years later, that usually provides a delicious and culturally holistic array that leaves me with questions, arguments, and an ever-lengthening to-read shelf.
Fork Gentley
Description of any product by yourself is not an easy task. You must do a lot of analyzes and fusion work and rewrite dozens of times any sentence or word that your boss would not like. thesis writing help make all boring and rewriting stuff for me. Now I can spend more time on real work while they are doing all the description stuff. ...more
Steven Witt
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of essays from Salman Rushdie from 2003 to 2020 that share his love of literature, art, and the world. If you are a fan of Salman Rushdie, this is a must read. His essays include Shakespeare, Cervantes, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Roth, his friendships with Christopher Hitchens and Carrie Fisher, so much more. These essays are great reading.
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This compilation has thoughtful commentary on the mixed worlds within art and society, most heavily weighted to the literary world. There were times I got lost in name dropping and references I would need college course texts to connect all the dots, but there were other essays that were highly relatable and decipherable.
Disclaimer: I don't like Rushdie. He is however, a word wizard like no one else! I didn't read all of the essays but the one about Scheherzade (and her sister and their father...uff) that's an epic novel in and of itself! ...more
Swarup Chakraborty
May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Best non-fiction from the master Storyteller. It is a collection of essays touching variety of subjects and each one is presented in an uncanny narrative pattern, which evokes an aura of magic around it like his fictional writings, yet they are clear and straight from the heart. Loved it.
Jun 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Some brilliant passages in a lot of clever erudite verbiage....
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Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a novelist and essayist. Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, led to protests from Muslims in several coun

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