Books

Salman Rushdie on The Satanic Verses at 25: "There Are No Pictures of Me in Hiding in My Memoir Because I Looked Like Sh*t"

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses being published in England. Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death sentence on Rushdie as punishment for the supposed blasmphemy in the novel, leading Rushdie and his family going into hiding for nearly a decade, constantly accompanied by an armed security detail. Rushdie's memoir of this period, Joseph Anton is newly out in paperback and the author was interviewed on stage last night at Miami-Dade College by Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan.

Before being introduced, the two were just a couple of guys with tidy facial hair, eschewing neckties from the side of the stage. They shared private jokes and rocked on their heels, waiting for the event to begin, betraying little of how their lives had been changed by a novel that was now a quarter century distant from its first edition. Literary placket watchers may have noted that Kaplan had his top two shirt buttons undone but the older writer only allowed himself one.

See also: Salman Rushdie is Coming to Tell His Life Story

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B. Caplan