Salman Rushdie often focuses his writings on the world of the Middle East, sometimes to his own peril. Not a stranger to controversy, he was under a death sentence for some years at the behest of militant Islam.
Rushdie's new novel, Shalimar the Clown, concerns politics in the volatile Indian state of Kashmir. It's reviewed in The Christian Science Monitor.
As Kashmir collapses into chaos, one beleaguered onlooker croaks, "We are no longer protagonists, only agonists." That bit of dialogue says much about Shalimar the Clown, Salman Rushdie's new novel, a devastating if at times heavy-handed examination of a doomed love and doomed region.