Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (b.1947) is an Indian-born British novelist whose writing on touchy religious and political themes have made him a controversial literary célèbre.
Born to a well-to-do Muslim family in Bombay, India, and educated at Cambridge, Rushdie worked as an actor and as an advertising copywriter before taking up writing full-time after the massive success of his second novel, the Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children (1981.)
The Satanic Verses (1988) made Rushdie a household name. This novel provoked the denunciation of Islamic authorities who decried it blasphemous. Its sale was banned in India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Iran. In 1989, Muslims in England burned copies of the novel, and protests in Pakistan resulted in killings and injuries. Rushdie was sentenced to death by Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini. In 1998, the Iranian government revoked the death sentence and Rushdie returned to public life.
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