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Publisher's Summary

Newly collected, revised, and expanded nonfiction from the first two decades of the 21st century - including many texts never previously in print - by the Booker Prize-winning, internationally best-selling author

Salman Rushdie is celebrated as a storyteller of the highest order, illuminating truths about our society and culture through his gorgeous, often searing prose. Now, in his latest collection of nonfiction, he brings together insightful and inspiring essays, criticism, and speeches that focus on his relationship with the written word and solidify his place as one of the most original thinkers of our time.

Gathering pieces written between 2003 and 2020, Languages of Truth chronicles Rushdie’s intellectual engagement with a period of momentous cultural shifts. Immersing the listener in a wide variety of subjects, he delves into the nature of storytelling as a human need, and what emerges is, in myriad ways, a love letter to literature itself. Rushdie explores what the work of authors from Shakespeare and Cervantes to Samuel Beckett, Eudora Welty, and Toni Morrison mean to him, whether on the page or in person. He delves deep into the nature of “truth”, revels in the vibrant malleability of language and the creative lines that can join art and life, and looks anew at migration, multiculturalism, and censorship.

Enlivened by Rushdie’s signature wit and dazzling voice, Languages of Truth offers the author’s most piercingly analytical views yet on the evolution of literature and culture even as he takes us on an exhilarating tour of his own exuberant and fearless imagination.

©2021 Salman Rushdie (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Mesmerizing.... Rushdie’s writing is erudite and full of sympathy, brimming with insight and wit: ‘Literature has never lost sight of what our quarrelsome world is trying to force us to forget. Literature rejoices in contradiction.’ Rushdie’s fans will be delighted.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

“Wide-ranging nonfiction pieces by the distinguished novelist, unified by his commitment to artistic freedom and his adamant opposition to censorship in any form.... This collection...showcases his generous spirit, dedicated to illuminating the work of fellow artists and defending their right to unfettered creativity.... Engagingly passionate, and endlessly informative: a literary treat.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

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Languages of Truth

Wonderful collection of essays.
Raj Ghatak who I presume is of Indian descent, clearly has no clue about how to pronounce South Asian names and words. It was painful to hear him massacre them.

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Humorous and insightful

Mr Rushdie is cosmopolitan writer with deep roots to India that he has fostered. Most of the essays were great fun. Some essays had a flavor of rubbing shoulders with the famous but enjoyable all the same.

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SALMAN RUSHDIE

Salman Rushdie is an irreverent atheist who makes a strong case for science, cultural acceptance, and freedom of choice.

This memoir is somewhat diminished by Raj Ghatak’s narration of the last essays of the book. Ghatak’s presentation recounts the meaning of Rushdie’s essays, but they seem less personal without Rushdie’s narration. “Languages of Truth” is a compilation of highly personal opinions. First chapters of “Languages of Truth” are more perfectly presented by Rushdie’s unique and mellifluous voice.

To this reviewer, the more interesting reveal in Rushdie’s essays are his opinions about books and plays that a listener has read. He offers reviews of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five”, Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” and Shakespeare’s oeuvre. He reaches back to ancient history with Heraclitus and his sparsely remaining written notes. Rushdie identifies the difference between American and India folk tales where one has a moral while the other simply recounts events without judgement.

Rushdie’s appeal is to liberals of the world. Many conservatives will cringe at Rushdie’s rejection of religion and acceptance of social and sexual difference. However, Rushdie shows himself to be an unrepentant intellectual with a warm heart and wicked wit.