Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Sir Salman Rushdie

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When I first wrote this piece - three years ago today - Salman Rushdie's 1981 novel Midnight's Children was at the top my Books-To-Buy list; his second novel, it stirred up considerable controversy with its unflattering portrait of Indira Gandhi during the Emergency, yet somehow managed to earn him the Booker Prize anyway*. I have since read the book - purchased shortly thereafter for a mere $2** on a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the Seattle neighbourhood of Fremont - and its characters and events haunt me still, as do the sights and sounds of that entirely pleasant afternoon.

As pissed off as some people were by Midnight's Children though, it wasn't until 1988 that he really pissed people off, with his novel The Satanic Verses, for which Iran's Nutjob-in-Chief Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced him to death in February 1989. Seeing as nearly twenty years have passed, I feel compelled to remind everyone that Khomeini's dead and Rushdie's still with us...  What better reason to celebrate Sir Salman's birthday than a failed fatwā by a fallen fathead?

*Truth In Blogging guidelines require me to label this comment as sarcasm.

**$2 US even, which at the time was worth less than a good old twoonie!
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