14 May 2006
A provocation: Deep down, we feel Rushdie is, at times, a sloppy plethoric writer who needs a strong editor. We wonder if he can find one for his novels in his publishing circle with the necessary linguistic and cultural competencies. An exception to this observation which may prove the rule is Sonny Mehta's line-by-line editing of The Jaguar's Smile to the point which when we read it first led us to think ah, Rushdie is a much better non-fiction writer than a novelist (the obverse of Naipaul) where his best has been derivative (Grass and Desani being the obvious exemplars and amalgams of the central conceits of his most famous novel with its paan shop banter) but we should quit as we can see some hackles rising. The question remains.