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Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie will be at Northrop Auditorium on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis on Wednesday, April 19, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Speaking of fear

Salman Rushdie to lecture at Northrop Auditorium

April 14, 2006

Salman Rushdie's life, he's been known to say, is like a bad Salman Rushdie novel.

The writer of numerous acclaimed novels, like The Satanic Verses and the Booker Prize-winning Midnight's Children, Rushdie is as well known for his brilliant fiction as he is for his historical role as the man whose words created a violent backlash in the fundamentalist Islam world. In 1989, when Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini declared a fatwa, or death sentence, against Rushdie for his criticism of Islam in The Satanic Verses--offering a $3 million bounty for his life--real life and fiction became tragically intertwined. It's this real-life impact of his fiction--the "bad novel" he lives in--that makes him uniquely qualified to speak about fear, truth, religion, and fiction.

On April 19, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Northrop Auditorium, Salman Rushdie will give a public lecture entitled, "Step Across This Line," also the title of his recently published non-fiction collection of essays. The book, Step Across This Line, a bright, furious, and deeply personal work, was written over 10 years, most of which were spent in hiding and under heavy security. In it, Rushdie sounds off about topics ranging from militant Islam to the post-9/11 world. In his talk, which is sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study, Rushdie is expected to speak about similar topics, which have become ever more relevant in the context of the recent Mohammed cartoon controversy and the ongoing violence in the Middle East.

Born in Bombay, India in 1947 to a middle-class family, Salman Rushdie was educated in England and spent his early career working as an actor, an advertising copywriter, and in Pakistani television. While Rushdie makes more frequent public appearances than during the initial eight years of the fatwa, his travels still require extreme security measures, and his location remains largely undisclosed.

See campus events for more on the lecture, and directions and parking information for Northrop Auditorium.