Legendary author Salman Rushdie is one of four Lavin speakers to land on Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2012 list. This year saw the release of Joseph Anton, his memoir documenting his time in hiding. Here’s Foreign Policy on Rushdie:
More than two decades before U.S. embassies throughout the Middle East were overrun by rioters angry about a crude anti-Islamic video and more than a decade before the 9/11 attacks, Salman Rushdie received the phone call that changed his life forever when a BBC reporter asked him, “How does it feel to know that you have just been sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini?”
This year saw the release of Rushdie’s astonishingly well-timed memoir, Joseph Anton, which describes his life in hiding after the 1989 fatwa condemning him to death for The Satanic Verses, a book that fundamentalists deemed offensive to the Prophet Mohammed.
Through it all, Rushdie has continued to make a powerfully personal case for freedom of expression, writing that the fatwa was “a violent attack not on the novel in general, or on free speech per se, but on a particular accumulation of words, and on the intentions and integrity and ability of the writer who had put those words together.”
"The reason why books endure is not that people dislike them or there’s a controversy around them. The reason why books endure is because there are enough people who like them. It’s the only reason why books last. It’s the people who love books that make them last, not the people who attack them."
Salman Rushdie, legendary author and Lavin speaker, talking to the New York Daily News about his controversial book The Satanic Verses.