It is often a condition that he asks before accepting an interview: not to mention the "Satanic Verses" and the fatwa calling for his assassination launched against him by the Iranian Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini in 1989. Salman Rushdie, stabbed this Friday August 12 during a conference in the State of New York when he was about to go on stage, confided regularly to regret being reduced only to this affair.
Because the British writer of Indian origin, also holder of the American passport, displays a beautiful CV and many other books that he wishes to defend.
Aged 75, this little man with a bald head, drooping eyelids and a closely trimmed beard, has published twelve novels, a collection of short stories, four essays, and has even written two children's books.
"I don't live hidden anymore"
Coming from a wealthy Indian family, he was born in Bombay.
He left his native country at the age of 13 to go live in the United Kingdom.
His notoriety, he acquired it in 1981, when he published "Les Enfants de Minuit", which won the prestigious Booker Prize, the equivalent of Goncourt in the country of Queen Elizabeth II.
He tells there, under cover of novel, the history of India, since its independence, in 1947, until the years 1970.
“The Satanic Verses” were released in 1988. Unleashing the wrath of the Iranian regime and part of the Muslim world.
There followed ten years of hidden life under police protection, where he took Joseph Anton as his pseudonym, inspired by his two favorite authors, Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov, and which would be the title of an autobiography, published in 2012. After a decade hidden, he is trying to return to an almost normal life in New York, where he has lived since 1999.
When our newspaper, in an interview in 2016, evoked his former bodyguards, he cheerfully proclaimed: "For me, it's over, it's ancient history, I no longer live in hiding anymore.
I no longer want protection, even if it is sometimes imposed on me, which irritates me”.
No more hiding.
Salman Rushdie, often cited in the list of potential Nobel Prize winners and winners of numerous literary prizes, continues to give interviews and participates in conferences.
His books are tinged with humor, the man is adept at good words and witticisms.
"We know, since Voltaire, that it is possible to say serious things while being funny", he confided to us in 2017. continuous news in contemporary America, was published in 2020 by Actes Sud.