About This Author

Sir
Salman Rushdie
FRSL

Rushdie at the 2016 Hay Festival
Rushdie at the 2016 Hay Festival

Born

Ahmed Salman Rushdie 19 June 1947 Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India

Occupation

Writer

Citizenship

  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Alma mater

King's College, Cambridge

Genre

  • Magic realism
  • satire
  • postcolonialism

Subject

  • Historical criticism
  • travel writing

Spouse

  • Clarissa Luard ( m.  1976; div.  1987)
  • Marianne Wiggins ( m.  1988; div.  1993)
  • Elizabeth West ( m.  1997; div.  2004)
  • Padma Lakshmi ( m.  2004; div.   2007 )

Signature

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie FRSL is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children , won the Booker Prize in 1981 and was deemed to be "the best novel of all winners" on two separate occasions, marking the 25th and the 40th anniversary of the prize. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. He combines magical realism with historical fiction; his work is concerned with the many connections, disruptions, and migrations between Eastern and Western civilizations.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses , was the subject of a major controversy, provoking protests from Muslims in several countries. 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. The British government put Rushdie under police protection.

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Discover Salman Rushdie Quotes and Sayings

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas - uncertainty, progress, change - into crimes. - Salman Rushdie

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas - uncertainty, progress, change - into crimes.

Salman Rushdie

change
If you actually want to change your world, there is a better way of doing it than blowing yourself up. - Salman Rushdie

If you actually want to change your world, there is a better way of doing it than blowing yourself up.

Salman Rushdie

change
Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall. - Salman Rushdie

Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall.

Salman Rushdie

fear
What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist. - Salman Rushdie

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.

Salman Rushdie

freedom
Rock and roll music - the music of freedom frightens people and unleashes all manner of conservative defense mechanisms. - Salman Rushdie

Rock and roll music - the music of freedom frightens people and unleashes all manner of conservative defense mechanisms.

Salman Rushdie

freedom
Such is the miraculous nature of the future of exiles: what is first uttered in the impotence of an overheated apartment becomes the fate of nations. - Salman Rushdie

Such is the miraculous nature of the future of exiles: what is first uttered in the impotence of an overheated apartment becomes the fate of nations.

Salman Rushdie

future
I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in. - Salman Rushdie

I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in.

Salman Rushdie

god
What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness second, their imagination, and third, their industry. - Salman Rushdie

What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness second, their imagination, and third, their industry.

Salman Rushdie

imagination great
I've never had very high regard for therapists. I owe my health, my mental survival, to my friends and loved ones. - Salman Rushdie

I've never had very high regard for therapists. I owe my health, my mental survival, to my friends and loved ones.

Salman Rushdie

health
Throughout human history, the apostles of purity, those who have claimed to possess a total explanation, have wrought havoc among mere mixed-up human beings. - Salman Rushdie

Throughout human history, the apostles of purity, those who have claimed to possess a total explanation, have wrought havoc among mere mixed-up human beings.

Salman Rushdie

history
If you take a look at history, you will find that the understanding of what is good and evil has always existed before the individual religions. The religions were only invented by people afterwards, in order to express this idea. - Salman Rushdie

If you take a look at history, you will find that the understanding of what is good and evil has always existed before the individual religions. The religions were only invented by people afterwards, in order to express this idea.

Salman Rushdie

history
In this world without quiet corners, there can be no easy escapes from history, from hullabaloo, from terrible, unquiet fuss. - Salman Rushdie

In this world without quiet corners, there can be no easy escapes from history, from hullabaloo, from terrible, unquiet fuss.

Salman Rushdie

history
There is a widespread difficulty in the Muslim world, which has to do with how the people are taught about examining their own history. A whole range of stuff has been placed off limits. - Salman Rushdie

There is a widespread difficulty in the Muslim world, which has to do with how the people are taught about examining their own history. A whole range of stuff has been placed off limits.

Salman Rushdie

history
A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep. - Salman Rushdie

A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.

Salman Rushdie

work poetry
What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroy. - Salman Rushdie

What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroy.

Salman Rushdie

power
If I were asked for a one-sentence sound bite on religion, I would say I was against it. - Salman Rushdie

If I were asked for a one-sentence sound bite on religion, I would say I was against it.

Salman Rushdie

religion