For all their permeability, the borders snaking across the world have never been of greater importance. This is the dance of history in our age: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, back and forth and from side to side, we step across these fixed and shifting lines. —from Part IV
With astonishing range and depth, the essays, speeches, and opinion pieces assembled in this book chronicle a ten-year intellectual odyssey by one of the most important, creative, and respected minds of our time. Step Across This Line concentrates in one volume Salman Rushdie’s fierce intelligence, uncanny social commentary, and irrepressible wit—about soccer, The Wizard of Oz, and writing, about fighting the Iranian fatwa and turning with the millennium, and about September 11, 2001. Ending with the eponymous, never-before-published speeches, this collection is, in Rushdie’s words, a “wake-up call” about the way we live, and think, now.
“This book is full of so much that is ‘relevant’ that the very word seems inadequate.” —Los Angeles Times
“Sometimes pensive, sometimes marvelously funny, always lucid essays, reviews, and occasional pieces by the renowned Anglo-Indian novelist.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The essays crackle with [Rushdie’s] enthusiasm, humor, and intelligence.” —The Miami Herald
“Every reader will find at least one essay in this collection that will bring anger and one that will cause audible laughter—and that is what makes Rushdie such an intelligent critic and thought-provoking writer.” —Rocky Mountain News
“Step Across This Line . . . became my favorite reading this summer. . . . [Rushdie’s essays] mostly celebrate the blurriness of our characters, whether national, religious, or personal, often taking a smudge stick to such boundaries.” —Mary Karr, author of Cherry and The Liars’ Club
“[Rushdie’s] turns and words are frequently exhilarating. There is . . . lilting pleasure in the collection.” —The New York Times Book Review