1. Salman Rushdie has a new memoir called Joseph Anton - about living in hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his death in 1989, in response to his novel The Satanic Verses. From the Jon Powers commentary:

    For starters, the ayatollah’s death sentence meant choosing a new, non-Asian identity — Joseph Anton — which came from combining the first names of Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov. It meant adjusting to live-in bodyguards and having to ask permission to do the simplest things, like meeting his son.

    And forget about those cool government “safe houses” from spy novels. Rushdie had to rent places to stay — then got stuck with the leases when his protectors thought it necessary to move. He had to do all this while the Thatcher government treated him as an expensive troublemaker, the ghastly British media reviled his character, and several famous writers suggested that Rushdie had only himself to blame for the fatwa.

    You see, Rushdie suffered from liberal society’s version of the taint. When some group claims to be offended by a book or movie, it quickly comes to be believed that this book or movie surely must be offensive somehow. Why else would people be so angry? From this, it follows naturally that the offending party ought to apologize — Rushdie was constantly being asked to apologize — even if the claim that his book insulted Islam is wrong and the people he’s supposed to apologize to have called for his murder

  2. Salman Rushdie

    Jon Powers


    Joseph Anton

    The Satanic Verses