East, West: Stories
Knopf Canada, 1996 - 211 pages
A rickshaw driver dreams of being a Bombay movie star; Indian diplomats, who as childhood friends hatched Star Trek fantasies, must boldly go into a hidden universe of conspiracy and violence; and Hamlet's jester is caught up in murderous intrigues. In Rushdie's hybrid world, an Indian guru can be a redheaded Welshman, while Christopher Columbus is an immigrant, dreaming of Western glory. Rushdie allows himself, like his characters, to be pulled now in one direction, then in another. Yet he remains a writer who insists on our cultural complexity; who, rising beyond ideology, refuses to choose between East and West and embraces the world.
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East, west: storiesUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
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 ... Read full review
When an author receives the distinction of being on the short list for assassination by the zealous like Khomeini, it ups the ante, and gets you a derisive joke on Seinfeld without necessarily making you better at your job, and Rushdie has become inveterately cowed in his post Satanic universe. East West delivers on certain tropes we've come to expect in the realm of magical realism, but the play on Oz and Judy Garland seems forced, and the other tales but a sugar coating and a minor apologia for the sacrilegious energies of his previous novel, perhaps an indication that zeal triumphs over educated humanists who cannot save us from ourselves.