By Margot Mifflin
Updated February 03, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

In East, West, Salman Rushdie’s first book of adult fiction since The Satanic Verses inspired a death threat from the Ayatollah Khomeini, Rushdie is light on his feet despite the price on his head. Juggling Eastern and Western characters, he casts the former in stories that read like Indian folk tales and the latter in crisp, urbane, sometimes implosive psychodramas. Rushdie’s embroideries on Hamlet, Star Trek, and the life of Christopher Columbus are more trouble than they’re worth, but the rest of this collection brims with intelligence, reintroducing an author whose humor and imagination are a pleasure to encounter. B+ -Margot Mifflin