Rushdie’s Domus Aurea: “The Golden House”

Shehryar Fazli in the Los Angeles Review of Books:

ThegoldenhouseA Youtube search of Salman Rushdie seemingly returns fresh hits by the week, of some new lecture, interview, or panel discussion. It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate that this indispensable writer, who spent an earlier decade under a state-sanctioned death threat, is able to share his literary and cultural preoccupations as openly and frequently as he does. But ubiquity in public life can be risky for a novelist. In Rushdie’s latest, The Golden House, we encounter so many of those preoccupations that it often reads like the eponymous Goldens are less a family than an extension of a conversation we’ve been having with the author for years.

Nero Golden and his three sons flee to the United States after losing Nero’s wife to the November 2008 Bombay (or Mumbai) terrorist attacks by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, which claimed hundreds of lives. They arrive in Manhattan on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration. We learn early that Nero had more dubious reasons for leaving India, where he clearly kept shady company. Classic noir, where the forces threatening the protagonist’s existence at home ultimately reappear and continue to do so in his new life. In this case, the protagonist hides not in an obscure town but in the world’s capital.

More here.