The subjects of Salman Rushdie's new collection of non-fiction range from 'The Wizard Of Oz', U2, India and Indian writing, the death of Princess Diana, and football, to twentieth-century writers including Angela Carter, Arthur Miller, Edward Said, J.M. Coetzee and Arundhati Roy.
In a central section, 'Messages From The Plague Years', Rushdie focuses on the fight against the Iranian fatwa, presenting texts both personal and political, which show for the first time how it was to live through those days. Rushdie's columns for the New York Times confront current issues - Kashmir, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Islam and the West - as well as lighter topics such as reality TV, sport and sleaze.
The book ends with the lectures that give it its title - Rushdie's exploration of the theme of frontiers: crossing them, breaking taboos, and - in the light of September 11 - the world of permeable frontiers in which we all live.
Salman Rushdie's non-fiction writing is incisive, committed, angry, and often very funny. Rushdie's first book of essays, 'Imaginary Homelands', offered a unique vision of politics, literature and culture in the 1980s. 'Step Across This Line' does the same, and more, for the last decade of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first.