A Series For The Serious Reader

This Week

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel by Salman Rushdie


From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.

In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.

Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights—or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.

Inspired by the traditional “wonder tales” of the East, Salman Rushdie’s novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today’s world. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is satirical and bawdy, full of cunning and folly, rivalries and betrayals, kismet and karma, rapture and redemption.

Praise for Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

“Rushdie is our Scheherazade, inexhaustibly enfolding story within story and unfolding tale after tale with such irrepressible delight that it comes as a shock to remember that, like her, he has lived the life of a storyteller in immediate peril. . . . Readers are going to admire the courage of this book, revel in its fierce colors, its boisterousness, humor and tremendous pizzazz, and take delight in its generosity of spirit.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian

“Erudite without flaunting it, an amusement park of a pulpy disaster novel that resists flying out of control by being grounded by religion, history, culture and love.”—Los Angeles Times

“[A] rambunctious, satirical, and bewitching metaphysical fable, perhaps his most thoroughly enjoyable to date . . . fantastically inventive, spirited, astute, and delectable.”—Booklist (starred review)

“A composite of magic realism, mythology, science fiction and straight-up fantasy . . . Like the best Rushdie novels, Two Years is playful and inventive, and also intellectually bracing.”—The Globe and Mail

“Incandescent . . . brilliant, ambitious . . . One cannot escape the feeling that all those years of writing and success have perhaps been preparation for this moment, for the creation of this tremendously inventive and timely novel.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Translates the bloody upheavals of our last few decades into the comic-book antics of warring jinn wielding bolts of fire, mystical transmutations and rhyming battle spells.”—The Washington Post

Next Week

Fear of Dying: A Novel by Erica Jong

Four decades ago, Erica Jong revolutionized the way we look at love, marriage and sex. Her world-wide bestseller, FEAR OF FLYING opened the doors for writers from Jennifer Weiner to Lena Dunham. Now she does it again by giving us powerful, new perspective on the next phase of women's lives. Full of the sly humor, deep wisdom and poignancy we know from her poetry, fiction and essays, she delivers the novel women everywhere have been waiting for...


As the afternoon of life looms over Vanessa Wonderman, she watches her parents age, attends doctor appointments with her pregnant daughter, and sits by the hospital bed of her husband, Asher, fifteen years her senior. With her best years as an actress behind her, she's discovering that beginnings are easy, but endings can be hard.

Could her fountain of youth fantasies be fulfilled on zipless.com? A site inspired by the writings of her best friend, Isadora Wing, it promises "no strings attached" encounters-and Vanessa is so restless that she's willing to try anything.

Fear of Dying is a daring and delightful look at what it really takes to be human and female in the 21st century. Wildly funny and searingly honest, it is a story for everyone who has ever been shaken and changed by love.

Author Extra

This Week's Guest:

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie, author of eleven previous novels, comes this new novel about a “spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story.”  Inspired by the traditional “wonder tales” of the East, Salman Rushdie’s novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today’s world.

Air Date:

Check listings on Public Broadcasting Stations and World Channel

Bookmarks by Mary Ann Gwinn

Creative Inspiration I had the unique opportunity to share the stage with Elizabeth Gilbert to recommend books to further the creative agenda.  This is the list we came up with. get the full list >

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