Author(s): Tariq Ali
This title provides provocative and witty essays on the giants of world literature by renowned activist and author. Written over the last four decades, these provocative essays and diary entries explore the links between literature, history and politics. Training a critical, imaginative and occasionally a satirical eye on the works of varied writers - including Cervantes, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Musil, Roth, Powell, Platonov, Solzhenitsyn, Grossman, Munif, Goytisolo and Rushdie - Ali discusses common themes as well as polarities, first impressions and re-readings, always seeking to contextualize the text in the political and historical milieu of its creation. Inviting the reader to share in the frustrations and pleasures of world literature and showcasing Ali's range and polemical verve, this collection will be sure to attract critical attention and a wide readership.
"Ali's style is vigorous, his narrative compelling, showing that the short-term, self-interested and oil-greedy policies of the British and Americans in such countries as Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran must make our much-vaunted ideals of democracy and equity seem like a bad joke." - Karen Armstrong, The Times "Urbane, highly intelligent and vividly written. One hopes this fine study will earn no fatwa." - Richard Sennett, Times Literary Supplement "Ali is provocative, polemical and often very funny. Marc Lambert, Scotland on Sunday "Provocative and witty essays on the giants of world literature." The Bookseller
TARIQ ALI is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics, as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London.