Salman Rushdie
British novelist and author of Pakistan and Indian origin
Salman Rushdie
Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children, won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism mixed with historical fiction, and a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western worlds.
Biography
Salman Rushdie's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Salman Rushdie from around the web
Salman Rushdie to bring out new novel on modern-day America
Yahoo News - 15 days
Salman Rushdie's latest novel, entitled "The Golden House," follows the life of a young American filmmaker against a backdrop of contemporary US politics. To be published by Vintage imprint Jonathan Cape, "The Golden House" will be Rushdie's 12th novel. The British-Indian writer is most known for his controversial novel "The Satanic Verses" (1988) and Booker-Prize-winning "Midnight's Children" (1981).
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Weekend Roundup: When Leaders Disinhibit Acting Out Hate
Huffington Post - 19 days
Is an executive order in a secular state like a fatwa in an Islamic theocracy? Of course it is not in the sense that a fatwa, or clerical decree on a given subject, is the last word while a directive from the top in a secular democracy is only the first word. It must stand up to the laws and the Constitution, not to speak of citizen protests. But in the larger sense, if recognized authorities legitimate fear of others unlike them, might the extremist fringe regard such official guidance as the psychological permission to act? Canada’s famous philosopher of secularism and religion, Charles Taylor, approaches the thought in an interview about the attack on a Quebec City mosque earlier this week that killed six people. An ultranationalist is suspected of carrying out that shooting. “Whenever political leaders propose to limit the rights of Muslims,” says Taylor, “they encourage Islamophobic sentiment and disinhibit hostile acts. If highly respected leaders share that hostility, why s ...
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Huffington Post article
The New "O" Book Club: 12 Fiction Picks from President Obama
Huffington Post - about 1 month
By Julianna Haubner | Off the Shelf President Obama has made it clear over the past 8 years that books are a big part of his life--whether he's shopping on Small Business Saturday or releasing his vacation reading list. (Plus, he did an impressive interview with author Marilynne Robinson, which you can listen to here. Cross your fingers for a post-White House podcast!) A bestselling author himself, our reader-in-chief has followed his predecessors in recommending some great nonfiction titles, but has surprised us all by being a particularly prolific fiction reader as well. Here are some of the books he's picked up during his time in office.   All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was a hit with pretty much everyone who read it in 2014 (and since), and the president was no exception. A tale of the intertwining experiences of a blind French girl and orphaned German boy during the Nazi occupation, it is a mesmerizing story o ...
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Huffington Post article
Authors And Organizations Sign Pledge To Protect Free Speech Under Trump
Huffington Post - 3 months
Demanding apologies from polite dissenters, floating loss of citizenship as punishment for flag-burning: President-elect Donald Trump has given supporters of the First Amendment more than enough reason to squirm in the weeks since his victory.  PEN America, a literary and human rights organization, decided to respond by taking a public stand in defense of free expression. On Wednesday, the organization unveiled a pledge to defend the First Amendment that is cosponsored by Daily Kos, The Nation, People for the American Way and a number of progressive entities.  The pledge, which has been signed by Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Nicole Krauss and all living past U.S. poets laureate, calls out Trump’s pattern of threatening speech toward members of the media and disenfranchised groups since his presidential campaign commenced. “Of specific concern were his threats and insults directed toward journalists, arbitrary limitations on media access and comments in support of potential l ...
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Huffington Post article
Author Salman Rushdie Slams Trump On Facebook: 'Come On, America. Focus.'
Huffington Post - 4 months
It’d take a skilled writer to succinctly detail all of the crimes ― legal and ethical ― Donald J. Trump has been accused of, or proven guilty of, in the past few months. But Salman Rushdie, the Booker Prize–winning author of Midnight’s Children, gave it a go on Facebook earlier today, reminding readers of the Republican presidential candidate’s refusal to release his tax returns, his harsh criticism of the Khan family, and his lewd comments about women. “Trump will go on trial in November accused of racketeering, and again in December accused of child rape,” Rushdie wrote. “Oh, but let’s talk about some emails Hillary didn’t send ... ” “Come on, America,” the author concluded, “Focus.” Rushdie is far from the first author to speak out against Trump. In May, over 400 writers signed a petition against the candidate, writing that, “as writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power.” -- This feed and its ...
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Huffington Post article
Paul Beatty Becomes First American To Win Man Booker Prize For Fiction
Huffington Post - 4 months
Paul Beatty was on Tuesday named as the first American to win the prestigious Man Booker fiction prize, for “The Sellout,” a biting satire on race relations in the United States. The narrator of “The Sellout,” an African-American called “Bonbon” tries to put his Californian town back on the map, from which it has been officially removed, by re-introducing slavery and segregation in its high school. The 289-page novel begins with “Bonbon” facing a hearing in the Supreme Court, looking back over the events that led up to that point. The language is uncompromising and may offend some readers. So might some of the content - one old black film actor asks to become Bonbon’s slave - as Beatty lampoons racial stereotypes. The protagonist’s father is unjustly shot by police. “This is a hard book. It was hard for me to write, it’s hard to read,” said a tearful Beatty immediately after winning the award at a ceremony at London’s historic Guildhall. “For me, it’s just really grati ...
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Huffington Post article
Kurt Vonnegut Once Said Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan Was 'Worst Poet Alive'
Huffington Post - 4 months
By now, you probably know that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature. And the reaction has been ... interesting.  Many have reached out and expressed their happiness for the “Like A Rolling Stone” singer: Congratulations to one of my favorite poets, Bob Dylan, on a well-deserved Nobel. https://t.co/c9cnANWPCS — President Obama (@POTUS) October 13, 2016 From Orpheus to Faiz,song & poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition.Great choice. #Nobel — Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) October 13, 2016 Quite a few others have been less than enthusiastic: I'm a Dylan fan, but this is an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies. — Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) October 13, 2016 Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature? What's next, Derek Jeter wins a Tony for his rice pilaf??? — rob delaney (@robdelaney) October 1 ...
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Huffington Post article
Not Even A Nobel Prize Can Get Bob Dylan To Pick Up The Phone
Huffington Post - 4 months
Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last Thursday, but the Swedish Academy can’t seem to get in touch with him regarding the accolade. According to The Guardian, the academy’s president, Sara Danius, told Radio Sweden, “Right now we are doing nothing. I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough.”  At this point, it’s unclear whether the 75-year-old music icon will attend the annual award banquet in Stockholm this December, but Danius said she’s “not worried at all. I think he will show up.”  “If he doesn’t want to come, he won’t come. It will be a big party in any case and the honor belongs to him,” Danius said, via The Guardian.  Dylan is the first songwriter to ever win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was chosen for the award over other contenders like Salman Rushdie and Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o.  Rushdie commented on Dylan’s win on Twitter, calling it a “gr ...
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Huffington Post article
27 Tweets That Perfectly Capture How Baffling Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Win Is
Huffington Post - 4 months
Every year in the lead-up to the Nobel Prize announcements, a couple of names would circulate with particular feverishness for the prize in literature. Bob Dylan is among them, though many literati would laugh at the idea that a world-famous singer-songwriter would snag a prize typically awarded to novelists and poets.  Well, who’s laughing now? When the Nobel Prize in Literature was announced on Thursday morning, the committee awarded it to Dylan, citing his creation of “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Book Twitter promptly had a complete meltdown.  Some, like Salman Rushdie and Lin Manuel Miranda, celebrated the Nobel’s stretching of literary boundaries to include music and lyrics: From Orpheus to Faiz,song & poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition.Great choice. #Nobel — Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) October 13, 2016 (Unsurprisingly) I'm not mad at it. Stre ...
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Huffington Post article
HBO's Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Premieres at the New York Film Festival: New Meaning to the Word "Swing"
Huffington Post - 4 months
Carrie Fisher made a wildly entertaining show about her story of growing up the child of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher: Wishful Drinking also became a popular HBO film. A casualty of her parents' divorce with a sharply bracing sense of humor, Carrie Fisher now stars with her mother in a new documentary, aptly named Bright Lights. This week, the movie, to air on HBO, premiered at the New York Film Festival. Now 84 and living in Beverly Hills in a house next to Carrie's, Debbie Reynolds missed this swell night. But she announced on the phone for the Alice Tully Hall audience: "I adore my children, and I'm not going to give up acting." And then, because she loves to, she sang "I've Got You Under My Skin." Fans of Debbie as Tammy or her hoofing it in Singin' in the Rain, or Carrie as Star Wars' Princess Leia, or those eager for details of Eddie Fisher's leaving sweet Debbie for flamboyant Elizabeth Taylor when her husband Mike Todd was killed in a crash, will be dazzled by the intimat ...
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Huffington Post article
Review: 2 Murderous Men in 2 Operas About Killing for Politics
NYTimes - 8 months
From Salman Rushdie and Shakespeare, in Kashmir and Scotland, the Opera Theater of St. Louis focuses on men who kill.
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NYTimes article
Kathy Griffin: "No One Has The Donald Trump Stories I Have"
Huffington Post - 9 months
As she tours the country on her ever-growing eighty stop comedy tour, Kathy Griffin is eviscerating Kardashians, Donald Trump, and everyone in between. With razor sharp wit and masterful timing, Griffin is the go-to performer to get the real deal on current events and pop culture, mostly because she knows them personally! We sat down with her as she prepared for the Wild West Comedy Festival to chat about Blac Chyna, her darling and wine swilling mother Maggie, and Mr. Trump himself. So I have managed to get some free time with you on your insane eighty stop tour! Next up; Nashville for the Wild West Comedy Festival on May 21st! How is it going to be doing Kathy Griffin in the red state of Tennessee? My show in Nashville is going to be all new material! Here's the thing; Tennessee is a red state but Nashville is a blue city. I'm gonna give em' a beat down about this "HB1840" law thing, I'm gonna hassle em! You know, it's getting crazier, and that's where I come in. One o ...
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Huffington Post article
The women marked for death by Islamic fatwa face threats with fear, courage
Fox News - 11 months
Twenty-seven years ago, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called for the death of a British author, giving new fame to Salman Rushdie and infamy to the term “fatwa.”
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Fox News article
Iran’s Hard-Liners Cling to the Past
NYTimes - 12 months
Dragging up the fatwa on Salman Rushdie is aimed at distracting voters from this week's elections.
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NYTimes article
Hard-line media groups in Iran increase the bounty for killing Salman Rushdie
LATimes - almost 1 year
The fatwa issued 27 years ago by Iran’s former supreme leader calling for Salman Rushdie to be killed seems like a relic of a bygone era. But not to a group of hard-line Iranian media organizations that announced it has raised $600,000 to add to a bounty for the death of the British novelist for...
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LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Salman Rushdie
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 68
    Rushdie supported the vote to remain in the EU during the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016
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  • 2012
    Age 64
    A memoir of his years of hiding, Joseph Anton, was released on 18 September 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Joseph Anton was Rushdie's secret alias. In February 1997, Ayatollah Hasan Sane'i, leader of the bonyad panzdah-e khordad (Fifteenth of Khordad Foundation), reported that the blood money offered by the foundation for the assassination of Rushdie would be increased from $2 million to $2.5 million. Then a semi-official religious foundation in Iran increased the reward it had offered for the killing of Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.
    Rushdie is a supporter of gun control, blaming a shooting at a Colorado cinema in July 2012 on the American right to keep and bear arms.
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    A proposed video link session between Rushdie and the Jaipur Literature Festival was also cancelled at the last minute after the government pressured the festival to stop it. Rushdie returned to India to address a conference in Delhi on 16 March 2012.
    More Details Hide Details In 2010 Anwar al-Awlaki published an Al-Qaeda hit list in Inspire magazine, including Rushdie along with other figures claimed to have insulted Islam, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, cartoonist Lars Vilks and three Jyllands-Posten staff members: Kurt Westergaard, Carsten Juste, and Flemming Rose. The list was later expanded to include Stéphane "Charb" Charbonnier, who was murdered in a terror attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, along with 11 other people. After the attack, Al-Qaeda called for more killings. Rushdie expressed his support for Charlie Hebdo. He said, "I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity... religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today." In response to the attack, Rushdie commented on what he perceived as victim-blaming in the media, stating "You can dislike Charlie Hebdo.... But the fact that you dislike them has nothing to do with their right to speak. The fact you dislike them certainly doesn't in any way excuse their murder".
    Rushdie was due to appear at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2012.
    More Details Hide Details However, he later cancelled his event appearance, and a further tour of India at the time citing a possible threat to his life as the primary reason. Several days after, he indicated that state police agencies had lied, in order to keep him away, when they informed that paid assassins were being sent to Jaipur to kill him. Police contended that they were afraid Rushdie would read from the banned The Satanic Verses, and that the threat was real, considering imminent protests by Muslim organizations. Meanwhile, Indian authors Ruchir Joshi, Jeet Thayil, Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar abruptly left the festival, and Jaipur, after reading excerpts from Rushdie's banned novel at the festival. The four were urged to leave by organizers as there was a real possibility they would be arrested. In India the import of the book is banned via customs.
    In 2012, he published Joseph Anton: A Memoir, an account of his life in the wake of the controversy over The Satanic Verses.
    More Details Hide Details Rushdie was born in Bombay, then British India, into a Muslim family of Kashmiri descent. He is the son of Anis Ahmed Rushdie, a University of Cambridge-educated lawyer turned businessman, and Negin Bhatt, a teacher. Rushdie has three sisters. He wrote in his 2012 memoir that his father adopted the name Rushdie in honour of Averroes (Ibn Rushd). He was educated at Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, Rugby School in Warwickshire, and King's College, University of Cambridge, where he read history.His father Anis Rushdie was rusticated from the Indian Civil Service (ICS) after the British government found out that he had fudged his date of birth. Rushdie briefly worked as a television writer while living in Pakistan with his family before returning to England to work as a copywriter for the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, where he came up with "irresistibubble" for Aero and "Naughty but Nice" for cream cakes, and for the agency Ayer Barker, for whom he wrote the memorable line "That'll do nicely" for American Express. It was while he was at Ogilvy that he wrote Midnight's Children, before becoming a full-time writer.
  • 2010
    Age 62
    In 2010, U2 bassist Adam Clayton recalled that "vocalist Bono had been calling Salman Rushdie from the stage every night on the Zoo TV tour.
    More Details Hide Details When we played Wembley, Salman showed up in person and the stadium erupted. You could tell from drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.'s face that we weren't expecting it. Salman was a regular visitor after that. He had a backstage pass and he used it as often as possible. For a man who was supposed to be in hiding, it was remarkably easy to see him around the place." On 24 September 1998, as a precondition to the restoration of diplomatic relations with the UK, the Iranian government, then headed by Mohammad Khatami, gave a public commitment that it would "neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Rushdie." Hardliners in Iran have continued to reaffirm the death sentence. In early 2005, Khomeini's fatwā was reaffirmed by Iran's current spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message to Muslim pilgrims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Additionally, the Revolutionary Guards declared that the death sentence on him is still valid. Iran rejected requests to withdraw the fatwā on the basis that only the person who issued it may withdraw it, and the person who issued it – Ayatollah Khomeini – has been dead since 1989.
    Rushdie is a member of the advisory board of The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organisation which provides daily meals to students of township schools in Soweto of South Africa. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America, an advocacy group representing the interests of atheistic and humanistic Americans in Washington, D.C. In November 2010 he became a founding patron of Ralston College, a new liberal arts college that has adopted as its motto a Latin translation of a phrase ("free speech is life itself") from an address he gave at Columbia University in 1991 to mark the two-hundredth anniversary of the first amendment to the US Constitution. The publication of The Satanic Verses in September 1988 caused immediate controversy in the Islamic world because of what was seen by some to be an irreverent depiction of Muhammad.
    More Details Hide Details The title refers to a disputed Muslim tradition that is related in the book. According to this tradition, Muhammad (Mahound in the book) added verses (Ayah) to the Qur'an accepting three goddesses who used to be worshipped in Mecca as divine beings. According to the legend, Muhammad later revoked the verses, saying the devil tempted him to utter these lines to appease the Meccans (hence the "Satanic" verses). However, the narrator reveals to the reader that these disputed verses were actually from the mouth of the Archangel Gibreel. The book was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities. (13 total: Iran, India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela, and Pakistan). In response to the protests, on 22 January 1989 Rushdie published a column in The Observer that called Muhammad "one of the great geniuses of world history," but noted that Islamic doctrine holds Muhammad to be human, and in no way perfect. He held that the novel is not "an anti-religious novel. It is, however, an attempt to write about migration, its stresses and transformations."
  • 2008
    Age 60
    In 2008, Rushdie was linked to Indian actress Riya Sen.
    More Details Hide Details In 1999, Rushdie had an operation to correct ptosis, a tendon condition that causes drooping eyelids and that, according to him, was making it increasingly difficult for him to open his eyes. "If I hadn't had an operation, in a couple of years from now I wouldn't have been able to open my eyes at all," he said. Since 2000, Rushdie has "lived mostly near Union Square" in New York City. Salman Rushdie is also a lifelong supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.
    In September 2008, and again in March 2009, he appeared as a panellist on the HBO program "Real Time with Bill Maher".
    More Details Hide Details Rushdie has said that he was approached for a cameo in Talladega Nights: "They had this idea, just one shot in which three very, very unlikely people were seen as NASCAR drivers. And I think they approached Julian Schnabel, Lou Reed, and me. We were all supposed to be wearing the uniforms and the helmet, walking in slow motion with the heat haze." In the end their schedules didn't allow for it. Rushdie collaborated on the screenplay for the cinematic adaptation of his novel Midnight's Children with director Deepa Mehta. The film was also called Midnight's Children. Seema Biswas, Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, and Irrfan Khan participated in the film. Production began in September 2010; the film was released in 2012. Rushdie announced in June 2011 that he had written the first draft of a script for a new television series for the US cable network Showtime, a project on which he will also serve as an executive producer. The new series, to be called The Next People, will be, according to Rushdie, "a sort of paranoid science-fiction series, people disappearing and being replaced by other people." The idea of a television series was suggested by his US agents, said Rushdie, who felt that television would allow him more creative control than feature film. The Next People is being made by the British film production company Working Title, the firm behind such projects as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shaun of the Dead.
    On 26 August 2008, Rushdie received an apology at the High Court in London from all three parties.
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    In May 2008 he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
    More Details Hide Details In September 2015, he joined the New York University Journalism Faculty as a Distinguished Writer in Residence. Though he enjoys writing, Salman Rushdie says that he would have become an actor if his writing career had not been successful. Even from early childhood, he dreamed of appearing in Hollywood movies (which he later realised in his frequent cameo appearances). Rushdie includes fictional television and movie characters in some of his writings. He had a cameo appearance in the film Bridget Jones's Diary based on the book of the same name, which is itself full of literary in-jokes. On 12 May 2006, Rushdie was a guest host on The Charlie Rose Show, where he interviewed Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, whose 2005 film, Water, faced violent protests. He appears in the role of Helen Hunt's obstetrician-gynecologist in the film adaptation (Hunt's directorial debut) of Elinor Lipman's novel Then She Found Me.
  • FIFTIES
  • 2007
    Age 59
    Rushdie was knighted for services to literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours on 16 June 2007.
    More Details Hide Details He remarked, "I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way." In response to his knighthood, many nations with Muslim majorities protested. Parliamentarians of several of these countries condemned the action, and Iran and Pakistan called in their British envoys to protest formally. Controversial condemnation issued by Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq was in turn rebuffed by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Ironically, their respective fathers Zia-ul-Haq and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had been earlier portrayed in Rushdie's novel Shame. Mass demonstrations against Rushdie's knighthood took place in Pakistan and Malaysia. Several called publicly for his death. Some non-Muslims expressed disappointment at Rushdie's knighthood, claiming that the writer did not merit such an honour and there were several other writers who deserved the knighthood more than Rushdie.
    In 2007 he began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he has also deposited his archives.
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  • 2006
    Age 58
    In the wake of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy in March 2006—which many considered an echo of the death threats and fatwā that followed publication of The Satanic Verses in 1989—Rushdie signed the manifesto Together Facing the New Totalitarianism, a statement warning of the dangers of religious extremism.
    More Details Hide Details The Manifesto was published in the left-leaning French weekly Charlie Hebdo in March 2006. In 2006, Rushdie stated that he supported comments by the then-Leader of the House of Commons Jack Straw, who criticised the wearing of the niqab (a veil that covers all of the face except the eyes). Rushdie stated that his three sisters would never wear the veil. He said, "I think the battle against the veil has been a long and continuing battle against the limitation of women, so in that sense I'm completely on Straw's side." Marxist critic Terry Eagleton, a former admirer of Rushdie's work, attacked him, saying he "cheered on the Pentagon's criminal ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan". Eagleton subsequently apologised for having misrepresented Rushdie's views. At an appearance at 92nd Street Y, Rushdie expressed his view on copyright when answering a question whether he had considered copyright law a barrier (or impediment) to free speech.
    During the 2006 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared that "If there had been a Muslim to carry out Imam Khomeini's fatwā against the renegade Salman Rushdie, this rabble who insult our Prophet Mohammed in Denmark, Norway and France would not have dared to do so.
    More Details Hide Details I am sure there are millions of Muslims who are ready to give their lives to defend our prophet's honour and we have to be ready to do anything for that." In 1990, soon after the publication of The Satanic Verses, a Pakistani film entitled International Gorillay (International Guerillas) was released that depicted Rushdie as a villain plotting to cause the downfall of Pakistan by opening a chain of casinos and discos in the country; he is ultimately killed at the end of the movie. The film was popular with Pakistani audiences, and it "presents Rushdie as a Rambo-like figure pursued by four Pakistani guerrillas". The British Board of Film Classification refused to allow it a certificate, as "it was felt that the portrayal of Rushdie might qualify as criminal libel, causing a breach of the peace as opposed to merely tarnishing his reputation." This effectively prevented the release of the film in the UK. Two months later, however, Rushdie himself wrote to the board, saying that while he thought the film "a distorted, incompetent piece of trash", he would not sue if it were released. He later said, "If that film had been banned, it would have become the hottest video in town: everyone would have seen it". While the film was a great hit in Pakistan, it went virtually unnoticed elsewhere.
  • 2005
    Age 57
    He opposed the British government's introduction of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act, something he writes about in his contribution to Free Expression Is No Offence, a collection of essays by several writers, published by Penguin in November 2005.
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  • 2004
    Age 56
    In 2004, he married the Indian American Padma Lakshmi, an actress, model, and host of the American reality-television show Top Chef. The marriage ended on 2 July 2007.
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    Rushdie was the President of PEN American Center from 2004 to 2006 and founder of the PEN World Voices Festival.
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  • 2002
    Age 54
    In his 2002 non-fiction collection Step Across This Line, he professes his admiration for the Italian writer Italo Calvino and the American writer Thomas Pynchon, among others.
    More Details Hide Details His early influences included Jorge Luis Borges, Mikhail Bulgakov, Lewis Carroll, Günter Grass, and James Joyce. Rushdie was a personal friend of Angela Carter's and praised her highly in the foreword of her collection Burning your Boats. His novel Luka and the Fire of Life was published in November 2010. Earlier that year, he announced that he was writing his memoirs, entitled Joseph Anton: A Memoir, which was published in September 2012. In 2012, Salman Rushdie became one of the first major authors to embrace Booktrack (a company that synchronises ebooks with customised soundtracks), when he published his short story "In the South" on the platform. Rushdie has quietly mentored younger Indian (and ethnic-Indian) writers, influenced an entire generation of Indo-Anglian writers, and is an influential writer in postcolonial literature in general. He has received many plaudits for his writings, including the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature, the Premio Grinzane Cavour (Italy), and the Writer of the Year Award in Germany and many of literature's highest honours.
  • FORTIES
  • 1990
    Age 42
    In 1990, in the "hope that it would reduce the threat of Muslims acting on the fatwa to kill him," he issued a statement claiming he had renewed his Muslim faith, had repudiated the attacks on Islam made by characters in his novel and was committed to working for better understanding of the religion across the world.
    More Details Hide Details However, Rushdie later said that he was only "pretending". His books often focus on the role of religion in society and conflicts between faiths and between the religious and those of no faith. Rushdie advocates the application of higher criticism, pioneered during the late 19th century. Rushdie called for a reform in Islam in a guest opinion piece printed in The Washington Post and The Times in mid-August 2005: Rushdie is a critic of cultural relativism. He favours calling things by their true names and constantly argues about what is wrong and what is right. In an interview with Point of Inquiry in 2006 he described his view as follows: Rushdie is an advocate of religious satire. He condemned the Charlie Hebdo shooting and defended comedic criticism of religions in a comment originally posted on English PEN where he called religions a medieval form of unreason. Rushdie called the attack a consequence of "religious totalitarianism" which according to him had caused "a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam".:
    He also wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories in 1990.
    More Details Hide Details Rushdie has had a string of commercially successful and critically acclaimed novels. His 2005 novel Shalimar the Clown received, in India, the prestigious Hutch Crossword Book Award, and was, in the UK, a finalist for the Whitbread Book Awards. It was shortlisted for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
  • 1989
    Age 41
    On 7 March 1989, the United Kingdom and Iran broke diplomatic relations over the Rushdie controversy.
    More Details Hide Details The publication of the book and the fatwā sparked violence around the world, with bookstores firebombed. Muslim communities in several nations in the West held public rallies, burning copies of the book. Several people associated with translating or publishing the book were attacked, seriously injured, and even killed. Many more people died in riots in some countries. Despite the danger posed by the fatwā, Rushdie made a public appearance at London's Wembley Stadium on 11 August 1993 during a concert by U2.
    On 14 February 1989, the day of the funeral of his close friend Bruce Chatwin, a fatwā requiring Rushdie's execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran at the time, calling the book "blasphemous against Islam" (chapter IV of the book depicts the character of an Imam in exile who returns to incite revolt from the people of his country with no regard for their safety).
    More Details Hide Details A bounty was offered for Rushdie's death, and he was thus forced to live under police protection for several years.
    Death threats were made against him, including a fatwā calling for his assassination issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on 14 February 1989.
    More Details Hide Details The British government put Rushdie under police protection.
  • 1988
    Age 40
    His second wife was the American novelist Marianne Wiggins; they were married in 1988 and divorced in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details His third wife, from 1997 to 2004, was Elizabeth West; they have a son, Milan (born 1997).
    His most controversial work, The Satanic Verses, was published in 1988 (see section below).
    More Details Hide Details In addition to books, Rushdie has published many short stories, including those collected in East, West (1994). The Moor's Last Sigh, a family epic ranging over some 100 years of India's history was published in 1995. The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999) presents an alternative history of modern rock music. The song of the same name by U2 is one of many song lyrics included in the book; hence Rushdie is credited as the lyricist.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1987
    Age 39
    Rushdie wrote a non-fiction book about Nicaragua in 1987 called The Jaguar Smile.
    More Details Hide Details This book has a political focus and is based on his first-hand experiences and research at the scene of Sandinista political experiments.
  • 1983
    Age 35
    In 1983 Rushdie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the UK's senior literary organisation.
    More Details Hide Details He was appointed Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in January 1999. In June 2007, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him for his services to literature. In 2008, The Times ranked him thirteenth on its list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. Since 2000, Rushdie has lived in the United States, where he has worked at Emory University. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • 1981
    Age 33
    His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. He combines magical realism with historical fiction; his work is concerned with the many connections, disruptions, and migrations between Eastern and Western civilizations. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the subject of a major controversy, provoking protests from Muslims in several countries.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1976
    Age 28
    Rushdie has been married four times. He was married to his first wife Clarissa Luard from 1976 to 1987 and fathered a son, Zafar (born 1979).
    More Details Hide Details He left her in the mid-'80s for the Australian writer Robyn Davidson, to whom he was introduced by their mutual friend Bruce Chatwin.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1947
    Born
    Born on June 19, 1947.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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