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BookBrowse Reviews The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

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The Enchantress of Florence

by Salman Rushdie

The Enchantress of Florence
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  • First Published:
    May 2008, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2009, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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A prodigious fever dream of a book

Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence is a phantasmagoria of sights, sounds, characters, and long sentences set in 16th century Italy and the Mughal Empire.

The plot centers on a series of stories told by a mysterious interloper to the Great Akbar. Akbar is a free thinker and a munificent ruler, so the interloper, Uccello, is able to stay and tell his stories after many of the court believe he should leave. The story is about the mysterious Enchantress of Florence, whose personal history greatly interests Akbar.

The telling of stories and the similarities between Akbar's court and the distant Italy are two of the central themes of the novel: Rushdie opines through metaphor, character, and plot that humanity is the same regardless of situation or fashion. The interweaving storylines, one set in Renaissance Italy, the other in the Mughal Empire, act as ...

Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1947. He studied in India and England, reading History at King's College, Cambridge. His first novel, Grimus, was published in 1975. His second novel, the critically acclaimed and award-winning Midnight's Children, was published in 1991. Among its honors, it has won the Booker Prize and the 'Booker of the Bookers,' recognizing it as the best example of that illustrious prize. Malcolm Bradley in The Modern British Novel (1994) pronounced the book "a new start for the late-twentieth-century novel." Rushdie's next novel, Shame, also won critical acclaim and ...

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