2004 Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters

Salmon Rushdie

Salmon Rushdie was honored on November 16, 2004 as the third recipient of the Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters.  

Born in Bombay, India, in 1947, Salman Rushdie is one of the world's most respected writers. In both fiction and non-fiction, Rushdie uses his unique upbringing and personal history to make bold statements about our contemporary life. His first novels, including Midnight's Children (1981) and Shame (1983), are examples of magic realism. Parts of his allegorical novel The Satanic Verses (1988) were deemed sacrilegious by many Muslims, including Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who in 1989 issued a fatwa sentencing Rushdie to death. Violence occurred in some cities where the book was sold, and Rushdie went into hiding. From his seclusion he wrote Haroun and Sea of Stories (1990), a novelistic allegory against censorship. The Moor's Last Sigh (1995), examines India's recent history through the life of a Jewish-Christian family. The fatwa was lifted in 1998.

The Ground beneath Her Feet (1999), mingles myth and reality in a surreal world of rock-and-roll celebrity. He has also written the novel Fury (2001) and numerous essays.