Salman Rushdie

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Salman Rushdie

Rushdie at the 2016 Hay Festival
Rushdie at the 2016 Hay Festival
BornAhmed Salman Rushdie
(1947-06-19) 19 June 1947 (age 76)
Bombay, British India (now Mumbai, India)
  • Writer
  • professor
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (since 2016)
EducationKing's College, Cambridge (BA)
Notable awards
  • Clarissa Luard
    (m. 1976; div. 1987)
  • Marianne Wiggins
    (m. 1988; div. 1993)
  • Elizabeth West
    (m. 1997; div. 2004)
  • Padma Lakshmi
    (m. 2004; div. 2007)
RelativesNatalie Rushdie (daughter-in-law)

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie CH FRSL (born 19 June 1947) is an Indian-born British-American novelist and essayist. He is the author of Midnight's Children (1981), which won the Booker Prize. His best known work was The Satanic Verses (1988), which made him a controversial author and caused him to have many death threats.[1]

Rushdie was born in India, but was sent to England to go to private school. He has lived in the United States since 2000. Rushdie is well known for writing stories which use "magic realism", which is similar to surrealism. This means that things in his stories happen which may be magic or impossible, such as falling from an aeroplane and floating down as gently as paper.[2] He often writes about India, and his stories often are set in different parts of the world.[3]

Fiction[change | change source]

In 1988, Rushdie wrote a book called The Satanic Verses. The book included a fictional story about some characters with a made-up religion. Some people have said that it insults Muhammad, but others disagree. Rushdie said about the story: "his Prophet was not called Muhammad, lived in a city not called Mecca, and created a religion not (or not quite) called Islam. And he appeared only in the dream sequences of a man being driven insane by his loss of faith.".[4] Because of this book, a fatwa was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran. It called for Rushdie's execution.[5]

Controversy[change | change source]

The leader of the country of Iran talked on the radio about Rushdie. He said that Rushdie did not believe in Islam and that Rushdie should be executed because he thought the book was bad. This is called a fatwa. In the year 1989, the British government began protecting Rushdie. He says he has always been an atheist, but is still interested in religion.[4]

Rushdie was knighted for services to literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours on 16 June 2007. Many nations with Muslim majorities were not happy with this. Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq said the knighthood was wrong. Then the Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto said this was not the way Pakistan thought. Their fathers Zia-ul-Haq and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto were in Rushdie's novel Shame.

The BBC said that "In 1998, the Iranian Government gave a public commitment it would not carry out the death sentence against Mr Rushdie",[6] but some people such as "Iranian hardliners" don't agree.[6]

Personal life[change | change source]

He has been married four times. His last marriage was to actress and model Padma Lakshmi; they divorced in 2007.

2022 stabbing attack[change | change source]

On 12 August 2022, Rushdie was stabbed multiple times by a man right before giving a speech at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York.[7] Rushdie was airlifted to hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he underwent surgery.[7] He was stabbed in the neck and was said to have lost an eye, had nerve damage in his arms, his liver was hurt and he was unable to speak.[8][9] A day later, Rushdie was taken off the ventilator and was able to speak.[10][11]

Writing by Salman Rushdie[change | change source]

Fiction[change | change source]

  • Grimus
  • Midnight's Children
  • Shame
  • The Satanic Verses
  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories
  • East, West
  • The Moor's Last Sigh
  • The Ground Beneath Her Feet
  • Fury
  • Shalimar the Clown
  • The Enchantress of Florence
  • Luka and the Fire of Life
  • Je Moeder

Nonfiction[change | change source]

  • The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey
  • Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991
  • Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

Plays[change | change source]

  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories (with Tim Supple and David Tushingham)
  • Midnight's Children (with Tim Supple and Simon Reade)

Screenplay[change | change source]

  • Midnight's Children

Anthologies[change | change source]

  • Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing, 1947-1997 (coeditor)
  • Best American Short Stories 2008 (coeditor)

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Salman Rushdie: Satanic Verses 'would not be published today'". BBC News. BBC. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  2. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, Chapter 1.
  3. For example, Midnight's Children (about India), Shame (about Pakistan), The Satanic Verses (India and England), and Shalimar the Clown (set in India, the U.S.A., and France).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie
  5. Robert Tait (16 Sep 2012). "Iran resurrects Salman Rushdie threat". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "1990: Iranian leader upholds Rushdie fatwa". 26 December 1990.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gelles, David; Root, Jay; Harris, Elizabeth (12 August 2022). "Live Updates: Salman Rushdie Is Stabbed During Speech in Western New York". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  8. "Salman Rushdie: Author on ventilator and unable to speak, agent says". BBC News. 13 August 2022.
  9. Pilkington, Ed; Yang, Maya; Levin, Sam (12 August 2022). "Salman Rushdie on ventilator after being stabbed onstage at New York state event". The Guardian.
  10. Thompson, Carolyn; Italie, Hillel (14 August 2022). "Agent: Rushdie off ventilator and talking, day after attack". AP News.
  11. "Salman Rushdie is off ventilator and able to talk, agent says". the Guardian. 2022-08-14. Retrieved 2022-08-14.

Other websites[change | change source]