December 14, 2012 |
For lovers of good literary controversy, Salman Rushdie is the gift that keeps on giving. A few months after the publication of Rushdie's memoir “Joseph Anton,” the New York Review of Books (where they specialize in this sort of thing) published a takedown of Rushdie , written by the British novelist and journalist Zoe Heller. Heller accuses Rushdie of being disingenuous when he says in his memoir that he had no idea his iconoclastic 1989 novel “The Satanic Verses” would set off such a violent and vicious controversy--more than 50 people were killed and the Iranian regime declared a fatwa against him. Rushdie told The Times in an interview this summer that he was “naïve” about what the reaction to “The Satanic Verses” would be. Baloney, says Heller.
November 13, 2012 |
This is Salman Rushdie's season of peacemaking. No, the great Indian British novelist hasn't forgiven the Iranian authorities who leveled a "Rushdie must die" fatwa against him back in 1989 for the perceived blasphemies in his novel "The Satanic Verses. " Nor has he made peace, as far as we know, with his second wife, Marianne Wiggins, who is the subject of a most unflattering portrait in Rushdie's new memoir, "Joseph Anton. " But in that same book Rushdie did, in effect, apologize at length to his third wife, Elizabeth West, for the poor judgment he showed in leaving her for his fourth wife, Padma Lakshmi, the statuesque beauty he first met under the Statue of Liberty.
October 3, 2012 |
In the 1990s, he was the world-famous novelist few people officially laid eyes on. Of Salman Rushdie's dozen-plus novels, it was "The Satanic Verses" (1988) that raised a hue and cry and sent him undercover: Its supposedly sacrilegious portrayal of the prophet Muhammad brought Rushdie a fatwa, a death sentence, from Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (it was lifted in 1998). The writer came to L.A. to accept the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' literary award and to talk about his new memoir of his underground years, "Joseph Anton.
September 25, 2012 |
Salman Rushdie has published a new book, the memoir "Joseph Anton," which describes his ordeal after the publication of "The Satanic Verses" and the fatwa issued against him. I interviewed Rushdie at the London Hotel in West Hollywood for a profile in Sunday's Arts & Books section. Here are additional excerpts from our conversation. Hector Tobar: How is it that you came to write “Joseph Anton” in the third person? Salman Rushdie: I tried to write it in the first person and I hated it. It felt self-regarding and narcissistic.
September 24, 2012 |
Yes, it was Emmy night, but the most gorgeous thing in town on Sunday was in downtown, not in Hollywood: the Los Angeles Central Library , a national historic landmark and, on Sunday, the site of the "concrete carpet. " Along the Maguire Garden reflecting pool below the library facade, Library Foundation supporters -- wearing, admittedly, far fewer spangles than the star crowd sweating on the red carpet in Hollywood -- gathered to celebrate the foundation's 20th anniversary.