In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini called for the assassination of Salman Rushdie. Iran’s supreme leader decreed that the British Indian author’s 4th novel — The Satanic Verses — blasphemed and mocked Islam.
Rushdie went into hiding, and received police protection. In 1998, President Mohammad Khatami’s government finally said it no longer supported Rushdie’s death — but the fatwa remains in place.
Things should be calm — but very interesting — on Thursday, October 22. Rushdie will be in the Staples High School auditorium at 7:30 that evening, delivering the Westport Library‘s annual Malloy Lecture in the Arts.
Rushdie has a lot to talk about. Known now as much for his human rights advocacy as for his writing, he holds honorary doctorates and fellowships from 12 European and American universities. He’s an honorary professor in the humanities at MIT, and distinguished writer-in-residence at Emory University.
Rushide is president of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, which he helped create, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. His books have been translated into over 40 languages.
The annual Malloy Lecture is made possible by a generous contribution from Westport artist Susan Malloy. This will be the library’s first since her death in April.
Admission is free. However, tickets are required. (Click here to register.) Copies of Rushdie’s latest novel — Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, set for publication next month — are available for pre-purchase at a special price with registration. Books may be autographed after the lecture.