Joseph Anton: A Memoir

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Joseph Anton: A Memoir
Joseph Anton - A Memoir.jpg
AuthorSalman Rushdie
CountryUnited Kingdom

Joseph Anton: A Memoir is an autobiographical book by the British Indian writer, Salman Rushdie. It was published in September 2012 by Random House.[1]

Rushdie used "Joseph Anton" as a pseudonym while in hiding following the fatwa that had been issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual and political leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the midst of criticism by some Muslims and a widespread controversy over Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses (1988). He chose the name to honor the writers Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov.[2] Rushdie was annoyed when police officers called him by the more casual nickname, "Joe."[3] The memoir is an account of his life under the ongoing fatwa.

It also discusses other aspects of his personal life, such as his friendship with other writers such as Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux, Bill Buford and Martin Amis and other public figures such as Alan Yentob. It also includes the story of the break-up of his relationship with his second wife, Marianne Wiggins, and the acrimonious nature of their split, and his third and fourth marriages (and break-ups) to Elizabeth West and Padma Lakshmi.

The memoir is unusual in the sense that Rushdie writes about his life as 'Joseph Anton' in the third person rather than the first person.

The book was announced as one of the 14 titles in the longlist for the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize on 18 September 2012.[4]


  1. ^ Yardley, Jonathan (16 September 2012). "'Joseph Anton: A Memoir' by Salman Rushdie". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 September 2012. Balint, Benjamin (April 2013). "A review of Joseph Anton". Claremont Review of Books. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  2. ^ Gompertz, Will (17 September 2012). "Meeting Salman Rushdie". BBC. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  3. ^ Radio Times, p.130 22–28 September 2012
  4. ^ "Nuclear weaponry, feathers, Everest and fatwa: Longlist announced for Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2012". The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Retrieved 19 September 2012.