Technology with attitude

Salman Rushdie at the 6th & I Street Synagogue, Washington DC

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photo credit: Mariusz Kubik

Author and essayist Salman Rushdie is perhaps best known for his run-in with the former Supreme Leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini, after the release of his award-winning but controversial 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses.

In response to a number of passages in the book deemed insulting to Islam, the religious cleric and leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s assassination. In the years that followed the author entered police protection and has, thankfully, thus far avoided physical harm.

Fortunately, such adversity did not diminish Rushdie’s ability, or his will, to write and since the publication of The Satanic Verses he has produced thirteen books and a number of high-profile essays, as well as receiving a plenitude of awards for his work.

In 2007 he became Sir Salman Rushdie when he received a knighthood from the Queen of England in her birthday honors list, and the following year he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Rushdie’s writing style is hard to categorize. His books variously contain a mix of realism, existentialism and modernism, and incorporate elements of science fiction, historical fiction, social commentary and satire. This mastery of story-telling is made all the more impressive when one remembers that English is, in fact, not his native language.

Rushdie will be speaking at the 6th and I Street Synagogue on Wednesday, 17th November about his latest book, Luka and the Fire of Life, a long-awaited follow-up to 1990’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories. The event starts at 7pm.

For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit the synagogue’s website.