Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Salman

Sir Salman Rushdie
Today is the birthday of Salman Rushdie, born in Bombay (now Mumbai). His novel Midnight's Children won the Booker Prize. His novel The Satanic Verses won him a death sentence from the Ayatollah Khomeini (which was revoked in 1998) - and got his Japanese translator killed, his Italian translator and Norwegian publisher wounded, and the hotel of his Turkish translator set on fire - a fire which killed forty others staying there. Then his knighting the year before last brought the crazies out again (and yes, they're crazies, those who claim killing the author is the only response to a book they don't like - you didn't see any Christians calling for the death of Robert Graves or rioting over The Last Temptation of Christ, blasphemous though those may have been. Even those protesting The DaVinci Code restricted themselves to saying "Don't watch this blasphemous film!", not "Kill Tom Hanks!").

So another birthday arrives for Salman Rushdie, who still writes: recently he published The Enchantress of Florence.

May he enjoy many more.

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