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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Enchantress of Florence

(Random House), by Salman Rushdie

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  The clash and convergence of cultures has always been a theme in the life and writing of Salman Rushdie. In his latest novel, a fair-haired Italian, claiming to be the ambassador of Elizabeth I, arrives in Mughal India and presents his dubious credentials at the court of Akbar the Great. The Italian is a trickster and a conjurer; Akbar is a monarch who lives in dreams and wonders if a better world is possible. The novel is digressive but succinct, with as many short tangents as the tales of Scheherazade, and moves forward on the strength of Rushdie’s molten prose and fascinatingly bizarre characters. (David Luhrssen)

  Salman Rushdie will read at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Shorewood on July 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets are required. For more information, visit www.schwartzbooks.com.