Salman Rushdie Biography
Salman Rushdie (Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie) is a British Indian novelist and essayist whose second novel, Midnight’s Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. It was said to be “the best novel of all winners” on two separate occasions, marking the 25th and the 40th anniversary of the prize.
Most of Salman’s fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent and he combines magical realism with historical fiction.
Salman’s fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the subject of a major controversy. It provoked protests from Muslims in several countries and even 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. However, the British government put him under police protection.
Later in 1983, Salman was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the UK’s senior literary organization. In January 1999 he was appointed Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. In June 2007, Salman was created a knight by Queen Elizabeth II. Salman was in 2008, ranked thirteenth by The Times on its list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
Salman Rushdie Age
Salman is 71 years old as of 2018. He was born on 19 June 1947.
Salman Rushdie Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses is Salman’s fourth novel which was published in 1988 which was inspired in part by the life of Muhammad. The book involves Indian expatriates in contemporary England and the two protagonists, Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, are both actors of Indian Muslim background.
Farishta is a Bollywood superstar who specializes in playing Hindu deities and Chamcha is an emigrant who has broken with his Indian identity and works as a voiceover artist in England.
After its publication, the book caused immediate controversy in the Islamic world because of what was seen by some to be an irreverent depiction of Muhammad.
The book, Satanic Verses, was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities. These countries are; Iran, India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela, and Pakistan.
On 14 February 1989-valentines day, which happened to be the funeral day of Salman’s close friend Bruce Chatwin, a fatwā ordering 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”. A bounty was also offered for Salman’s death and Salman was thus forced to live under police protection for several years.
Salman Rushdie Quotes
- “Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.”
- “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
- “Whenever someone who knows you disappears, you lose one version of yourself. Yourself as you were seen, as you were judged to be. Lover or enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us, and their several knowings slant the different facets of our characters like diamond-cutter’s tools. Each such loss is a step leading to the grave, where all versions blend and end.”
- “I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’m gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”
- “From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.”
“Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.”
- “What’s real and what’s true aren’t necessarily the same.”