The Salman Rushdie Story

Today The Writer’s Almanac neatly summarizes the story of Salman Rushdie’s troubles surrounding the 1987 publication of his book The Satanic Verses. I hadn’t known that Rushdie himself is a Muslim (which makes sense if you give the situation a second of thought) or that his Italian translator was stabbbed, his Japanese translator was murdered and his Norwegian translator shot three times and left for dead.

It’s an interesting tale. Scroll down to the June 19 entry to read for yourself.

Back when he was still in hiding, a group of writers and literary critics distributed a series of buttons that said, “I am Salman Rushdie,” to express their solidarity with him. Rushdie has since acquired a few of those buttons, and he said, “I still wear them sometimes, because, after all, I am Salman Rushdie.”

Salman Rushdie said, “A poet’s work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.”

One response to “The Salman Rushdie Story

  1. And at a point when large sections of the world feel that the West is trying to launch a new Holy War against Islam, what does the British government do? Give him a knighthood.

    If I’m feeling charitable, I can put it down to sheer stupidity (which seems to be the major qualification for governance these days) and if I’m feeling cynical? A mob as well-versed in spin as this lot are surely must have seen what the reaction would be. Lesson 1: how to increase tensions while making the opposition look like the bad guys.

    I don’t deny Rushdie deserves recognition – he is a brilliant writer. But really, guys, pick your timing???

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