Salman Rushdie
Overview
 
Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children
Midnight's Children
Midnight's Children is a 1981 book by Salman Rushdie about India's transition from British colonialism to independence and the partition of India. It is considered an example of postcolonial literature and magical realism...

 (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. 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.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...

 (1988), was the centre of a major controversy
The Satanic Verses controversy
The Satanic Verses controversy was the heated and sometimes violent Muslim reaction to the publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses. Many Muslims accused Rushdie of blasphemy or unbelief and in 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie...

, drawing protests from Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s in several countries.
Quotations

Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.

Midnight's Children (1981)

But names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit.

The Satanic Verses (1988)

The world, somebody wrote, is the place we prove real by dying in it.

"The Satanic Verses" (1988)

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas — uncertainty, progress, change — into crimes.

Herbert Reade Memorial Lecture (February 6, 1990)

Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination of the heart.

The Hindu (26 February 1995)

The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.

The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)

I've been worrying about God a little bit lately. It seems as if he's been lashing out, you know, destroying cities, annihilating places. It seems like he's been in a bad mood. And I think it has to do with the quality of lovers he's been getting. If you look at the people who love God now, you know, if I was God, I'd need to destroy something.

Real Time with Bill Maher TV show (October 7, 2005)

Encyclopedia
Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children
Midnight's Children
Midnight's Children is a 1981 book by Salman Rushdie about India's transition from British colonialism to independence and the partition of India. It is considered an example of postcolonial literature and magical realism...

 (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. 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.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...

 (1988), was the centre of a major controversy
The Satanic Verses controversy
The Satanic Verses controversy was the heated and sometimes violent Muslim reaction to the publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses. Many Muslims accused Rushdie of blasphemy or unbelief and in 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie...

, drawing protests from Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s in several countries. Some of the protests were violent, in which death threats were issued to Rushdie, including a fatwā
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

 against him by Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

, the Supreme Leader of Iran
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

, on February 14, 1989.

He was appointed a Knight Bachelor
Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

 by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to literature" in June 2007. He holds the rank Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of the Ordre national du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963...

 of France. He began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University
Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...

 in 2007. In May 2008 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2008, The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 ranked Rushdie thirteenth on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". His latest novel is Luka and the Fire of Life
Luka and the Fire of Life
Luka and the Fire of Life is a children's book by Salman Rushdie. It was published by Jonathan Cape, Random House in 2010. It is the sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories.- Synopsis :...

, published in November 2010. In 2010, he announced that he has begun writing his memoirs.

Personal life

The only son of Anis Ahmed Rushdie, a Cambridge University-educated lawyer turned businessman, and Negin Bhatt, a teacher, Rushdie was born in Bombay (now known as Mumbai), India, into a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 family of Kashmiri
Kashmiri people
The Kashmiri people are a Dardic linguistic group living in Kashmir Valley in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and parts of the Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir who speak the Kashmiri language...

 descent. He was educated at Cathedral and John Connon School
Cathedral and John Connon School
The Cathedral and John Connon School is a co-educational, private school located in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, established in 1860.According to the Education World-C fore Survey of Schools 2010, the school has been ranked first in the all India ranking of the best schools in India.It was ranked...

 in Mumbai, Rugby School
Rugby School
Rugby School is a co-educational day and boarding school located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.-History:...

, and King's College
King's College, Cambridge
King's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college's full name is "The King's College of our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge", but it is usually referred to simply as "King's" within the University....

, Cambridge University where he studied history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

.

Rushdie has been married four times. He was married to his first wife Clarissa Luard from 1976 to 1987 and fathered a son, Zafar. His second wife was the American novelist Marianne Wiggins
Marianne Wiggins
Marianne Wiggins is an American author. She is noted for the unusual characters and storylines in her novels. She has won the Whiting Writers' Award, an NEA award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.- Biography :...

; they were married in 1988 and divorced in 1993. His third wife, from 1997 to 2004, was Elizabeth West; they have a son, Milan. In 2004, he married the Indian American actress and model Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi
Padma Parvati Lakshmi also Padma, Lady Rushdie is an American cookbook author, actress, model and television host. She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two in 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for...

, the host of the American reality-television show Top Chef
Top Chef
Top Chef is an American reality competition show that airs on the cable television network Bravo, in which chefs compete against each other in culinary challenges. They are judged by a panel of professional chefs and other notables from the food and wine industry with one or more contestants...

. The marriage ended on 2 July 2007, with Lakshmi indicating that it was her desire to end the marriage. In 2008 the Bollywood press romantically linked him to the Indian model Riya Sen
Riya Sen
Riya Sen is an Indian film actress and model. Riya, who hails from a family of actors including her grandmother Suchitra Sen, mother Moon Moon Sen and sister Raima Sen, began her acting career in 1991 as a child artiste in the film Vishkanya. Her first commercial success in her film career was...

, with whom he was otherwise a friend. In response to the media speculation about their friendship, she simply stated "I think when you are Salman Rushdie, you must get bored with people who always want to talk to you about literature."

In 1999, Rushdie had an operation to correct ptosis
Ptosis (eyelid)
Ptosis is a drooping of the upper or lower eyelid. The drooping may be worse after being awake longer, when the individual's muscles are tired. This condition is sometimes called "lazy eye", but that term normally refers to amblyopia...

, 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.

Copywriter

Rushdie's first career was as a copywriter
Copywriting
Copywriting is the use of words and ideas to promote a person, business, opinion or idea. Although the word copy may be applied to any content intended for printing , the term copywriter is generally limited to promotional situations, regardless of the medium...

, working for the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather is an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan and owned by the WPP Group. The company operates 497 offices in 125 countries with approximately 16,000 employees.-History:...

, where he came up with "irresistibubble" for Aero
Aero (chocolate)
Aero is a milk chocolate bar filled with bubbles of air, made by Nestlé and primarily sold in the United Kingdom , the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Middle East and Canada.-History:...

 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
American Express
American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

. It was while he was at Ogilvy that he wrote Midnight's Children, before becoming a full-time writer. John Hegarty of Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Bartle Bogle Hegarty is a British advertising agency, responsible for some notable advertising campaigns of the last 30 years. The company was founded by John Bartle, Nigel Bogle & Sir John Hegarty in 1982. Sir John Hegarty and Nigel Bogle still lead it today, together with worldwide CEO Simon...

 has criticised Rushdie for not referring to his copywriting past frequently enough, although conceding: "He did write crap ads...admittedly."

Major literary work

His first novel, Grimus
Grimus
Grimus is a 1975 fantasy and science fiction novel written by Salman Rushdie. It was his literary debut.The story loosely follows Flapping Eagle, a young Indian who receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid...

, a part-science fiction tale, was generally ignored by the public and literary critics. His next novel, Midnight's Children, catapulted him to literary notability. It significantly shaped the course that Indian writing in English
Indian English literature
Indian English literature refers to the body of work by writers in India who write in the English language and whose native or co-native language could be one of the numerous languages of India. It is also associated with the works of members of the Indian diaspora, such as V.S...

 followed over the next decade, and is regarded by many as one of the great books of the last 100 years. This work won the 1981 Booker Prize
Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and...

 and, in 1993 and 2008, was awarded the Best of the Bookers as the best novel to have received the prize during its first 25 and 40 years. Midnight's Children follows the life of a child, born at the stroke of midnight as India gained its independence, who is endowed with special powers and a connection to other children born at the dawn of a new and tumultuous age in the history of the Indian sub-continent and the birth of the modern nation of India
History of the Republic of India
The history of the Republic of India began on 26 January 1950. The country became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth 15 August 1947. George VI was King until the Republic was proclaimed in 1950. Concurrently the Muslim-majority northwest and east of British India was separated...

. The character of Saleem Sinai has been compared to Rushdie.

After Midnight's Children, Rushdie wrote Shame
Shame (novel)
Shame is Salman Rushdie's third novel, published in 1983. Like most of Rushdie's work, this book was written in the style of magic realism. On the face of it, Shame is a novel about Pakistan and about the people who ruled Pakistan. One of the main aims of the novel is to portray the lives of...

 (1983), in which he depicts the political turmoil in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, basing his characters on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq , was the 4th Chief Martial Law Administrator and the sixth President of Pakistan from July 1977 to his death in August 1988...

. Shame won France's Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger
Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger
The Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger is a French literary prize created in 1948. It is awarded yearly in two categories: Novel and Essay for books translated in to French.- Prix du Meilleur livre étranger — Novel :* 2010: Gonçalo M...

 (Best Foreign Book) and was a close runner-up for the Booker Prize. Both these works of postcolonial literature are characterised by a style of magic realism
Magic realism
Magic realism or magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction in which magical elements blend with the real world. The story explains these magical elements as real occurrences, presented in a straightforward manner that places the "real" and the "fantastic" in the same stream of...

 and the immigrant outlook that Rushdie is very conscious of as a member of the Indian diaspora.

Rushdie wrote a non-fiction book about Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 in the 1980s, The Jaguar Smile
The Jaguar Smile
The Jaguar Smile is Salman Rushdie's first full-length non-fiction book, which he wrote in 1987 after visiting Nicaragua. The book is subtitled A Nicaraguan Journey and relates his travel experiences, the people he met as well as views on the political situation then facing the country...

 (1987). The book has a political focus and is based on his first-hand experiences and research at the scene of Sandinista political experiments.

His most controversial work, The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...

, was published in 1988 (see section below). Rushdie has published many short stories, including those collected in East, West (1994). The Moor's Last Sigh
The Moor's Last Sigh
The Moor's Last Sigh is the fifth novel by Salman Rushdie, and was published in 1995. Set in the Indian cities of Bombay and Cochin , it is the first major work that Rushdie produced after the The Satanic Verses affair, and thus is referential to that circumstance in many ways, especially the...

, a family epic ranging over some 100 years of India's history was published in 1995. The Ground Beneath Her Feet
The Ground Beneath Her Feet
The Ground Beneath Her Feet is the sixth novel written by Salman Rushdie. Published in 2000, it is a variation on the Orpheus/Eurydice myth with rock music replacing Orpheus' lyre...

 (1999) presents an alternative history of modern rock music. The song of the same name
The Ground Beneath Her Feet (song)
"The Ground Beneath Her Feet" is a song by U2 from the film, The Million Dollar Hotel, and featured on the film's soundtrack, The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture. The song was recorded with Daniel Lanois on the pedal steel guitar for the film. However, a different mix than the...

 by U2
U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

 is one of many song lyrics included in the book, hence Rushdie is credited as the lyricist. He also wrote "Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a 1992 children's book by Salman Rushdie. It was Rushdie's first novel after The Satanic Verses. It is a phantasmagorical story that begins in a city so old and ruinous that it has forgotten its name....

" in 1990.

Rushdie has had a string of commercially successful and critically acclaimed novels. His 2005 novel Shalimar the Clown
Shalimar the Clown
Shalimar the Clown is a 2005 novel written by Salman Rushdie, who also wrote The Satanic Verses and Midnight's Children.Shalimar the Clown was published in September 2005 and has attracted significant attention, comparable to his earlier publications, particularly The Moor's Last Sigh and...

 received, in India, the prestigious Hutch Crossword Book Award, and was, in Britain, a finalist for the Whitbread Book Awards. It was shortlisted for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is an international literary award for a work of fiction, jointly sponsored by the city of Dublin, Ireland and the company IMPAC. At €100,000 it is one of the richest literary prizes in the world...

.

In his 2002 non-fiction collection Step Across This Line, he professes his admiration for the Italian writer Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...

 and the American writer Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

, among others. His early influences included James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

, Günter Grass
Günter Grass
Günter Wilhelm Grass is a Nobel Prize-winning German author, poet, playwright, sculptor and artist.He was born in the Free City of Danzig...

, Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

, Mikhail Bulgakov
Mikhail Bulgakov
Mikhaíl Afanásyevich Bulgákov was a Soviet Russian writer and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, which The Times of London has called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.-Biography:Mikhail Bulgakov was born on...

, and Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll , was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the...

. Rushdie was a personal friend of Angela Carter
Angela Carter
Angela Carter was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, and picaresque works...

 and praised her highly in the foreword for her collection Burning your Boats.

Other activities

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
Aristeion Prize
The Aristeion Prize is a European prize, awarded for significant contributions to contemporary literature, and exceptional translations of contemporary literature. The prize is awarded in a different Capital of Culture each year...

 for Literature, the Premio Grinzane Cavour (Italy), and the Writer of the Year Award in Germany and many of literature's highest honours. Rushdie was the President of PEN American Center
PEN American Center
PEN American Center , founded in 1922 and based in New York City, works to advance literature, to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship. The Center has a membership of 3,300 writers, editors, and translators...

 from 2004 to 2006.

He opposed the British government's introduction of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act
Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which creates an offence in England and Wales of inciting hatred against a person on the grounds of their religion...

, something he writes about in his contribution to Free Expression Is No Offence, a collection of essays by several writers, published by Penguin
Penguin Group
The Penguin Group is a trade book publisher, the largest in the world , having overtaken Random House in 2009. The Penguin Group is the name of the incorporated division of parent Pearson PLC that oversees these publishing operations...

 in November 2005.

In 2006, Rushdie joined the Emory University
Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...

 faculty as Distinguished Writer in Residence for a five-year term. 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 realized in his frequent cameo appearances).

Rushdie includes fictional television and movie characters in some of his writings. He had a cameo appearance
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

 in the film Bridget Jones's Diary  based on the book of the same name
Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jones's Diary is a 1996 novel by Helen Fielding. Written in the form of a personal diary, the novel chronicles a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single working woman living in London. She writes about her career, self-image, vices, family, friends, and romantic...

, 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
Deepa Mehta
Deepa Mehta, LLD is a Genie Award-winning Indian-born Canadian film director and screenwriter, most known for her Elements Trilogy, Fire , Earth , and Water , among which Earth was submitted by Indian government for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film...

, whose 2005 film, Water, faced violent protests. He appears in the role of Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt
Helen Elizabeth Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She starred in the sitcom Mad About You for seven years, before being cast in the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets...

's obstetrician-gynecologist
Obstetrics and gynaecology
Obstetrics and gynaecology are the two surgical–medical specialties dealing with the female reproductive organs in their pregnant and non-pregnant state, respectively, and as such are often combined to form a single medical specialty and postgraduate training programme...

 in the film adaptation (Hunt's directorial debut) of Elinor Lipman
Elinor Lipman
Elinor Lipman is an American novelist and short story writer.-Biography:Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, Lipman graduated from Simmons College where she studied journalism. She lives in western Massachusetts and Manhattan, and received the New England Book award for fiction in 2001...

's novel Then She Found Me
Then She Found Me
Then She Found Me is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Helen Hunt. The screenplay by Hunt, Alice Arlen, and Victor Levin is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Elinor Lipman...

. In September 2008, and again in March 2009, he appeared as a panelist on the HBO program "Real Time With Bill Maher".

Rushdie is currently collaborating on the screenplay for the cinematic adaptation of his novel Midnight's Children with noted director Deepa Mehta
Deepa Mehta
Deepa Mehta, LLD is a Genie Award-winning Indian-born Canadian film director and screenwriter, most known for her Elements Trilogy, Fire , Earth , and Water , among which Earth was submitted by Indian government for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film...

. The film will be called Midnight's Children. While casting is still in progress, Seema Biswas
Seema Biswas
Seema Biswas is an Indian film and theatre actress from Assam who shot into prominence with the role of Phoolan Devi in Shekhar Kapur's film Bandit Queen . She has a reputation for performing strong character roles.Biswas won the 1996 National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the film...

, Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. An alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India of Pune, she made her film debut in 1974 and soon became one of the leading actresses of parallel cinema, an Indian New Wave movement known for its serious content and...

, Nandita Das
Nandita Das
Nandita Das is an award-winning Indian film actress and director. As an actress, she is known for her performances in Fire , Earth , Bawandar , Kannathil Muthamittal and Aamaar Bhuvan . As a director, she is known for her directorial debut Firaaq , which has won a number of national and...

, and Irrfan Khan are confirmed as participating in the film. Mehta has stated that production will begin in September, 2010.

Rushdie announced in June 2011 that he had written the first draft of a script for a new television series for the U.S. 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 Rushie, "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 U.S. 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
Working title
A working title, sometimes called a production title, is the temporary name of a product or project used during its development, usually used in filmmaking, television production, novel, video game, or music album.-Purpose:...

, the firm behind such projects as Four Weddings and a Funeral
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Four Weddings and a Funeral is a 1994 British comedy film directed by Mike Newell. It was the first of several films by screenwriter Richard Curtis to feature Hugh Grant...

 and Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 British zombie comedy directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and written by Pegg and Wright. Pegg plays Shaun, a man attempting to get some kind of focus in his life as he deals with his girlfriend, his mother and stepfather...

.

Rushdie is a member of the advisory board of The Lunchbox Fund
The Lunchbox Fund
The Lunchbox Fund, founded in 2005, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a daily meal for extremely poor and at-risk students in South African town ship high schools. The daily meal boosts the children’s nutrition and ability to learn...

 , a non-profit organization which provides daily meals to students of township schools in Soweto
Soweto
Soweto is a lower-class-populated urban area of the city of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa, bordering the city's mining belt in the south. Its name is an English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships...

 of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America
Secular Coalition for America
The Secular Coalition for America is an advocacy group located in Washington D.C., representing atheists, humanists, freethinkers, agnostics, and other non-theistic people with a naturalistic worldview in American politics. Sean Faircloth, a five-term Maine state legislator, served as Executive...

, 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
Ralston College
Ralston College is a liberal arts college in Savannah, Georgia, United States. It was founded on February 1, 2010 and as of December 2010 is not yet accepting applications for admission. The patrons of Ralston College are Harold Bloom, Hilary Putnam, and Salman Rushdie. The members of the Board...

, 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 U.S. Constitution.

He took on Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 over the use of his name in 2011. He won. Rushdie had asked to use his middle name Salman, which he is most recognised by. He described his online identity crisis in a series of messages posted on Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

, among them ""Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J. Edgar
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

 to become John Hoover" and "Or, if F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

 was on #Facebook, would they force him to be Francis Fitzgerald? What about F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham
Fahrid Murray Abraham is an American actor. He became known during the 1980s after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Antonio Salieri in Amadeus. He has appeared in many roles, both leading and supporting, in films such as All the President's Men and Scarface...

?" Messages such as these were then circulated online. Facebook eventually relented and allowed him to call himself by the name is known as internationally.

The Satanic Verses and the fatwā

The publication of The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...

 in September 1988 caused immediate controversy in the Islamic world because of what was perceived as an irreverent depiction of the prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. The title refers to a disputed Muslim tradition
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 that is related in the book. According to this tradition, Muhammad (Mahound
Mahound
Mahound or Mahoun is a variant form of the name Muhammad, often found in Medieval and later European literature. This version of the name, or variants of it, came to be strongly associated with anti-Muslim attitudes in Western Christendom...

 in the book) added verses (sura
Sura
A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

) to the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 accepting three goddesses who used to be worshipped in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 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
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

. The book was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities. (12 total: India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela and Pakistan)

On 14 February 1989, a fatwā
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

 requiring Rushdie's execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

, the spiritual leader of Iran
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

 at the time, calling the book "blasphemous
Blasphemy
Blasphemy is irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things. Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy, while others have laws to give recourse to those who are offended by blasphemy...

 against Islam" (chapter IV of the book depicts the character of an Imam
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

 in exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

 who returns to incite revolt from the people of his country with no regard for their safety). A bounty was offered for Rushdie's death, and he was thus forced to live under police protection for several years. On 7 March 1989, the United Kingdom and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 broke diplomatic relations over the Rushdie controversy.

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
Book burning
Book burning, biblioclasm or libricide is the practice of destroying, often ceremoniously, books or other written material and media. In modern times, other forms of media, such as phonograph records, video tapes, and CDs have also been ceremoniously burned, torched, or shredded...

 copies of the book. Several people associated with translating or publishing the book were attacked, seriously injured, and even killed.See Hitoshi Igarashi
Hitoshi Igarashi
was a Japanese scholar of Arabic and Persian literature and history and the Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses. He completed his doctoral programme in Islamic art at the University of Tokyo in 1976, and was research fellow at the Royal Academy of Iran until the Islamic...

, Ettore Capriolo, William Nygaard
William Nygaard
William Nygaard is a retired Norwegian publisher who graduated with a degree in economics in 1967. He is also chairman of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.-Business career:...

Many more people died in riots in Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

 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
Zoo TV Tour
The Zoo TV Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Staged in support of their 1991 album Achtung Baby, the tour visited arenas and stadiums from 1992 through 1993...

. In 2010, U2 bassist Adam Clayton
Adam Clayton
Adam Charles Clayton is a musician, best known as the bassist of the Irish rock band U2. Clayton has resided in County Dublin since the time his family moved to Malahide when he was five years old in 1965...

 recalled that "[lead vocalist] Bono
Bono
Paul David Hewson , most commonly known by his stage name Bono , is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his...

 had been calling Salman Rushdie from the stage every night on the Zoo TV tour. 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 Britain, the Iranian government, then headed by Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

, 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
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

. Additionally, the Revolutionary Guards
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps
The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution , often called Revolutionary Guards, is a branch of Iran's military, founded after the Iranian revolution...

 have declared that the death sentence on him is still valid. Iran has 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 has reported that he still receives a "sort of Valentine
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

's card" from Iran each year on 14 February letting him know the country has not forgotten the vow to kill him. He said, "It's reached the point where it's a piece of rhetoric rather than a real threat." Despite the threats on Rushdie, he has publicly said that his family has never been threatened and that his mother (who lived in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 during the later years of her life) even received outpourings of support.

A former bodyguard to Rushdie, Ron Evans, planned to publish a book recounting the behaviour of the author during the time he was in hiding. Evans claimed that Rushdie tried to profit financially from the fatwa and was suicidal, but Rushdie dismissed the book as a "bunch of lies" and took legal action against Ron Evans, his co-author and their publisher. On 26 August 2008 Rushdie received an apology at the High Court in London from all three parties.

Failed assassination attempt and Hezbollah's comments

On 3 August 1989, while Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh was priming a book bomb loaded with RDX
RDX
RDX, an initialism for Research Department Explosive, is an explosive nitroamine widely used in military and industrial applications. It was developed as an explosive which was more powerful than TNT, and it saw wide use in WWII. RDX is also known as cyclonite, hexogen , and T4...

 explosives in a hotel in Paddington
Paddington
Paddington is a district within the City of Westminster, in central London, England. Formerly a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965...

, Central London, the bomb exploded prematurely, destroying two floors of the hotel and killing Mazeh. A previously unknown Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 group, the Organization of the Mujahidin of Islam, said he died preparing an attack "on the apostate Rushdie". There is a shrine in Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra
Behesht-e Zahra
Behesht-e Zahra , is the largest cemetery in Iran. Located in the southern part of metropolitan Tehran, it is connected to the city by a metro line. The cemetery has been one of the inspirations for the popular webcomic, Zahra's Paradise.-History:...

 cemetery for Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh that says he was "Martyred in London, 3 August 1989. The first martyr to die on a mission to kill Salman Rushdie." Mazeh's mother was invited to relocate to Iran, and the Islamic World Movement of Martyrs' Commemoration built his shrine in the cemetery that holds thousands of Iranian soldiers slain in the Iran–Iraq War. During the 2006 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005...

, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah
Hasan Nasrallah, became the third Secretary General of the Lebanese political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah after Israel assassinated the previous leader, Abbas al-Musawi, in 1992. Hezbollah in its entirety is considered a terrorist organization by The United States, the Netherlands,...

 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. 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." James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation
Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

 testified before the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 that a "March 1989" explosion in Britain was a Hezbollah attempt to assassinate Rushdie that failed when a bomb exploded prematurely, killing a Hezbollah activist in London.

International Guerillas

In 1990, soon after the publication of The Satanic Verses, a Pakistani film
Cinema of Pakistan
The cinema of Pakistan refers to Pakistan's film industry. Most of the feature films shot in Pakistan are in Urdu language but may also include films in English, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi or Sindhi languages....

 entitled International Gorillay
International Guerillas (film)
International Guerillas is an action film from Pakistan, originally released in the context of the Satanic Verses controversy, which portrays Salman Rushdie as its main villain...

 (International Guerillas) was released that depicted Rushdie as plotting to cause the downfall of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 by opening a chain of casinos and discos in the country. The film was popular with Pakistani audiences, and it "presents Rushdie as a Rambo
John Rambo
John Rambo is an iconic fictional character and the basis of the Rambo saga. He first appeared in the 1972 novel First Blood by David Morrell, but later became more famous in the film series, played by Sylvester Stallone...

-like figure pursued by four Pakistani guerrillas". The British Board of Film Classification
British Board of Film Classification
The British Board of Film Classification , originally British Board of Film Censors, is a non-governmental organisation, funded by the film industry and responsible for the national classification of films within the United Kingdom...

 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 move effectively banned the film in Britain outright. However, two months later, 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 in the West.

Knighthood

Rushdie was knighted
Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

 for services to literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours
Queen's Birthday Honours
The Queen's Birthday Honours is a part of the British honours system, being a civic occasion on the celebration of the Queen's Official Birthday in which new members of most Commonwealth Realms honours are named. The awards are presented by the reigning monarch or head of state, currently Queen...

 on 16 June 2007. 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
Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq
Ch Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq is a prominent Pakistani politician and a businessman who served as a Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Minorities under the Government of Prime minister Shaukat Aziz. A former Pakistan Army officer, Haq joined the Pakistan Army in 1971, as second lieutnenat, but...

 was in turn rebuffed by former Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

 Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....

. Ironically, their respective fathers Zia-ul-Haq and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 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.

Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 has condemned the Rushdie honour. The Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al-Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life...

 is quoted as saying in an audio recording that Britain's award for Indian-born Rushdie was "an insult to Islam", and it was planning "a very precise response."

Religious and political beliefs

Rushdie came from a Muslim family but says that he was never really religious. 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 in his novel and was committed to working for better understanding of the religion across the world. 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 calls for a reform in Islam in a guest opinion piece printed in The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

 and The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 in mid-August 2005. Excerpts from his speech:
Rushdie supported the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, leading the leftist Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali , , is a British Pakistani military historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, public intellectual, political campaigner, activist, and commentator...

 to label Rushdie and other "warrior writers" as "the belligerati'". He was supportive of the US-led campaign to remove the Taliban in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, which began in 2001, but was a vocal critic of the 2003 war in Iraq. He has stated that while there was a "case to be made for the removal of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

", US unilateral military intervention was unjustifiable.

In the wake of the 'Danish Cartoons Affair'
Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005...

 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'
MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism
MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism is a political statement made in response to the violence surrounding the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. The signatories said they issued the letter to demonstrate that there is a need to fight for secular values and personal freedom...

, a statement warning of the dangers of religious extremism. The Manifesto was published in the left-leaning French weekly Charlie Hebdo
Charlie Hebdo
Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical weekly newspaper, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics and jokes. It appeared from 1969 to 1981, when it folded, and was resurrected in 1992. The current editor is cartoonist Charb. His predecessors are François Cavanna and Philippe Val...

 in March 2006.

In 2006, Rushdie stated that he supported comments by the then-Leader of the House of Commons Jack Straw
Jack Straw
Jack Straw , British politician.Jack Straw may also refer to:* Jack Straw , English* "Jack Straw" , 1971 song by the Grateful Dead* Jack Straw by W...

, who criticised the wearing
United Kingdom debate over veils
The British debate over veils began in October 2006 when the MP and government minister Jack Straw wrote in his local newspaper, the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, that, while he did not want to be "prescriptive", he preferred talking to women who did not wear a niqab as he could see their face,...

 of the niqab
Niqab
A niqab is a cloth which covers the face, worn by some Muslim women as a part of sartorial hijāb...

 (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
Jack Straw
Jack Straw , British politician.Jack Straw may also refer to:* Jack Straw , English* "Jack Straw" , 1971 song by the Grateful Dead* Jack Straw by W...

 side."

The Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 critic Terry Eagleton
Terry Eagleton
Terence Francis Eagleton FBA is a British literary theorist and critic, who is regarded as one of Britain's most influential living literary critics...

, a former admirer of Rushdie's work, attacked him for his positions, saying he "cheered on the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

's criminal ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan". However, Eagleton subsequently apologized for having misrepresented Rushdie's views.

At an appearance at 92nd Street Y
92nd Street Y
92nd Street Y is a multifaceted cultural institution and community center located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, at the corner of E. 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Its full name is 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association...

, Rushdie expressed his view on copyright when answering a question whether he had considered copyright law a barrier (or impediment) to free speech.
When Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 (AI) suspended human rights activist Gita Sahgal for saying to the press that she thought AI should distance itself from Moazzam Begg
Moazzam Begg
Moazzam Begg , is a British Pakistani Muslim who was held in extrajudicial detention in the Bagram Theater Internment Facility and the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, in Cuba, by the U.S...

 and his organization, Rushdie said:
Amnesty ... has done its reputation incalculable damage by allying itself with Moazzam Begg and his group Cageprisoners, and holding them up as human rights advocates. It looks very much as if Amnesty's leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy
Moral bankruptcy
Moral bankruptcy is a synonym for immorality that has gained popular usage in the fields of business and politics, in which it specifically implies some instance of political corruption or corporate crime...

, and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong. It has greatly compounded its error by suspending the redoubtable Gita Sahgal for the crime of going public with her concerns. Gita Sahgal is a woman of immense integrity and distinction.... It is people like Gita Sahgal who are the true voices of the human rights movement; Amnesty and Begg have revealed, by their statements and actions, that they deserve our contempt.

Novels

  • Grimus
    Grimus
    Grimus is a 1975 fantasy and science fiction novel written by Salman Rushdie. It was his literary debut.The story loosely follows Flapping Eagle, a young Indian who receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid...

     (1975)
  • Midnight's Children
    Midnight's Children
    Midnight's Children is a 1981 book by Salman Rushdie about India's transition from British colonialism to independence and the partition of India. It is considered an example of postcolonial literature and magical realism...

     (1981)
  • Shame
    Shame (novel)
    Shame is Salman Rushdie's third novel, published in 1983. Like most of Rushdie's work, this book was written in the style of magic realism. On the face of it, Shame is a novel about Pakistan and about the people who ruled Pakistan. One of the main aims of the novel is to portray the lives of...

     (1983)
  • The Satanic Verses
    The Satanic Verses
    The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Prophet Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters...

     (1988)
  • The Moor's Last Sigh
    The Moor's Last Sigh
    The Moor's Last Sigh is the fifth novel by Salman Rushdie, and was published in 1995. Set in the Indian cities of Bombay and Cochin , it is the first major work that Rushdie produced after the The Satanic Verses affair, and thus is referential to that circumstance in many ways, especially the...

     (1995)
  • The Ground Beneath Her Feet
    The Ground Beneath Her Feet
    The Ground Beneath Her Feet is the sixth novel written by Salman Rushdie. Published in 2000, it is a variation on the Orpheus/Eurydice myth with rock music replacing Orpheus' lyre...

     (1999)
  • Fury
    Fury (novel)
    Fury is the seventh novel written by Salman Rushdie. It was published in 2001.-Plot summary:Malik Solanka, a Cambridge-educated millionaire from Bombay, is looking for an escape from himself...

     (2001)
  • Shalimar the Clown
    Shalimar the Clown
    Shalimar the Clown is a 2005 novel written by Salman Rushdie, who also wrote The Satanic Verses and Midnight's Children.Shalimar the Clown was published in September 2005 and has attracted significant attention, comparable to his earlier publications, particularly The Moor's Last Sigh and...

     (2005)
  • The Enchantress of Florence
    The Enchantress of Florence
    The Enchantress of Florence is the ninth novel by Salman Rushdie, and was published in 2008. According to Rushdie this is his "most researched book" which required "Years and years of reading"....

     (2008)

Collections

  • Homeless by Choice (1992, with R. Jhabvala
    Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
    Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, CBE is a Booker prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for her long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, made up of director James Ivory and the late producer Ismail Merchant...

     and V. S. Naipaul
    V. S. Naipaul
    Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad "V. S." Naipaul, TC is a Nobel prize-winning Indo-Trinidadian-British writer who is known for his novels focusing on the legacy of the British Empire's colonialism...

    )
  • East, West
    East, West
    East, West is an anthology of short stories written by Salman Rushdie in 1994. The book is divided into three main sections, entitled "East", "West", and "East, West", each section containing stories whose topics center around their respective geographical areas...

     (1994)
  • The Best American Short Stories (2008, as Guest Editor)

Children's Books

  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories
    Haroun and the Sea of Stories
    Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a 1992 children's book by Salman Rushdie. It was Rushdie's first novel after The Satanic Verses. It is a phantasmagorical story that begins in a city so old and ruinous that it has forgotten its name....

     (1990)
  • Luka and the Fire of Life
    Luka and the Fire of Life
    Luka and the Fire of Life is a children's book by Salman Rushdie. It was published by Jonathan Cape, Random House in 2010. It is the sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories.- Synopsis :...

     (2010)

Essays and Non-Fiction

  • The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (1987)
  • "In Good Faith", GRANTA, 1990
  • Imaginary Homelands
    Imaginary Homelands
    Imaginary Homelands is a collection of essays written by Salman Rushdie covering a wide variety of topics. In addition to the title essay, the collection also includes "'Commonwealth Literature' Does Not Exist".-List of published works:...

    : Essays and Criticism, 1981–1991 (1992)
  • "The Wizard of Oz: BFI Film Classics", BFI, 1992.
  • "Mohandas Gandhi." TIME, 13 April 1998.
  • "Imagine There Is No Heaven." , extracted contribution from Letters to the Six Billionth World Citizen, a UN sponsored publication in English by Uitgeverij Podium, Amsterdam. The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

    , 16 October 1999.
  • Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992 - 2002 (2002)
  • "A fine pickle." The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

    , 28 February 2009.

Awards

  • Aristeion Prize
    Aristeion Prize
    The Aristeion Prize is a European prize, awarded for significant contributions to contemporary literature, and exceptional translations of contemporary literature. The prize is awarded in a different Capital of Culture each year...

     (European Union)
  • Arts Council
    Arts council
    An arts council is a government or private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts mainly by funding local artists, awarding prizes, and organizing events at home and abroad...

     Writers' Award
  • Author of the Year (British Book Awards
    British Book Awards
    The Galaxy National Book Awards are a series of British literary awards focused on the best UK writers and their works, as selected by an academy of members from the British book publishing industry...

    )
  • Author of the Year (Germany)
  • Booker Prize for Fiction
  • Booker of Bookers for the best novel among the Booker Prize winners for Fiction awarded at its 25th anniversary (in 1993)
  • The Best of the Booker
    The Best of the Booker
    The Best of the Booker is a special prize awarded in commemoration of the Booker Prize's 40th anniversary. Eligible books included the 41 winners of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969...

     awarded to commemorate the Booker Prize's 40th anniversary (in 2008), winner by public vote
  • Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
  • English-Speaking Union
    English-Speaking Union
    The English-Speaking Union is an international educational charity which was founded by the journalist Evelyn Wrench in 1918. The ESU aims to "bring together and empower people of different languages and cultures," by building skills and confidence in communication, such that individuals realize...

     Award
  • Honorary Patron, University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin
    Trinity College, Dublin
    Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

    .
  • Hutch Crossword Book Award (India)
  • India Abroad Lifetime Achievement Award (USA)
  • James Tait Black Memorial Prize
    James Tait Black Memorial Prize
    Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the oldest and most prestigious book prizes awarded for literature written in the English language and are Britain's oldest literary awards...

     (Fiction)
  • Kurt Tucholsky Prize (Sweden)
  • Mantua Prize (Italy)
  • James Joyce Award
    James Joyce Award
    The James Joyce Award is an award given by the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin for those who have achieved outstanding success in their given field...

     – University College Dublin
    University College Dublin
    University College Dublin ) - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's largest, and Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 students...

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

     Honorary Professorship
  • Chapman University
    Chapman University
    Chapman University is a private, non-profit university located in Orange, California affiliated with the Christian Church . Known for its blend of liberal arts and professional programs, Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media...

     Honorary Doctorate – Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Humanism (Harvard University)
  • Premio Grinzane Cavour
    Grinzane Cavour
    Grinzane Cavour is a comune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 50 km southeast of Turin and about 45 km northeast of Cuneo.Grinzane Cavour borders the municipalities of Alba and Diano d'Alba....

     (Italy)
  • Prix Colette (Switzerland)
  • Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger
    Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger
    The Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger is a French literary prize created in 1948. It is awarded yearly in two categories: Novel and Essay for books translated in to French.- Prix du Meilleur livre étranger — Novel :* 2010: Gonçalo M...

  • St. Louis Literary Award
    St. Louis Literary Award
    Every year the Saint Louis University Library Associates present the St. Louis Literary Award to a distinguished figure in literature.Past Recipients of the Award:*2010 Don DeLillo*2009 Sir Salman Rushdie*2008 E. L. Doctorow*2007 William H. Gass...

     – Saint Louis University
    Saint Louis University
    Saint Louis University is a private, co-educational Jesuit university located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Founded in 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillaume Valentin Dubourg SLU is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River. It is one of 28 member institutions of the...

  • State Prize for Literature (Austria)
  • Whitbread Novel Award (twice)
  • Writers' Guild of Great Britain
    Writers' Guild of Great Britain
    The Writers' Guild of Great Britain, established in 1959, is a trade union for professional writers. It is affiliated with both the Trades Union Congress and the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds .-Activities:...

     Award for Children's Fiction

See also

  • Blitcon
    Blitcon
    Blitcon is a collective portmanteau term invented to describe the political tendencies of Britain's three most prominent novelists...

    , British literary conservatives
  • Censorship in South Asia
    Censorship in South Asia
    Censorship in South Asia can apply to books, movies, the Internet and other media. Censorship occurs on religious, moral and political grounds, which is controversial in itself as the latter especially is seen as contrary to the tenets of democracy, in terms of freedom of speech and the right to...

  • International PEN
    International PEN
    PEN International , the worldwide association of writers, was founded in London in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere....

  • List of fatwas
  • The Butterfly Hunter
    The Butterfly Hunter
    The Butterfly Hunter is the unpublished debut novel by Birmingham-based British writer Dr. Max Malik, which has drawn comparisons with Salman Rushdie's controversial work The Satanic Verses. The Butterfly Hunter was completed in 2008, and submitted by the author to the Muslim Writers Awards, in...

  • The Satanic Verses controversy
    The Satanic Verses controversy
    The Satanic Verses controversy was the heated and sometimes violent Muslim reaction to the publication of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses. Many Muslims accused Rushdie of blasphemy or unbelief and in 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie...


External links

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