Hundreds of authors expected to take part in mass readings of Rushdie’s works

From The Bookseller:

Authors including Andrew Solomon, Gay Talese and Paul Auster are set to gather and read from Salman Rushdie’s works in a show of solidarity with the author, who was attacked last week, with hundreds expected to take part by live-streaming the NYC event and hosting their own readings.

The Satanic Verses author, aged 75, was stabbed on stage at a literary event being held in New York on 12th August and has suffered “life-changing” injuries.

On 19th August, one week after the attack took place, PEN America, the New York Public Library and Penguin Random House have organised a gathering of Rushdie’s friends, fellow members of the literary community, and readers to share selected parts of his work.

Taking place at the Stephen A Schwarzman Building in New York as well as being live-streamed, participating authors will include Auster, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Tina Brown, Kiran Desai, Andrea Elliott, Amanda Foreman, A M Homes, Siri Hustvedt, Hari Kunzru, Colum McCann and Douglas Murray.

The description for the event reads: “Writers worldwide stand in solidarity with Salman Rushdie and celebrate his extraordinary literary accomplishments, undaunted courage, and tireless advocacy for the freedom of expression and the plight of imperilled writers everywhere.”

It has been modelled on a public reading of The Satanic Verses (Viking) held a few days after the 1989 fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death was announced. That event was attended by more than 3,000 people.

Tony Marx, president of the New York Public Library, said: “We at The New York Public Library were shocked to hear about the attack on Salman Rushdie. Rushdie has always been a devoted advocate for freedom of expression, and his wide range of writings, from novels to children’s books to non-fiction essays, provide the world with invaluable insight into our shared humanity… As our world grows ever more divided, it is critical that writers, like Salman Rushdie, feel safe to share their perspectives and make their voices heard.”

Link to the rest at The Book Seller

1 thought on “Hundreds of authors expected to take part in mass readings of Rushdie’s works”

  1. Poseurs.

    I’ve got my well-read copy, purchased at the time of the fatwa, from the lily-livered publishers branding themselves “The Consortium” because they didn’t have the courage to identify themselves as actual publishers of a work labelled “blasphemous”† by a nutcase theocratic dictator who had never read the work. Well, at least these authors are not hiding behind a pseudonym, which I suppose is an improvement. But they’re very late to the party.

    † Admittedly, this was in the UK, while Mary Whitehouse and her ilk still had influence and there was still a seldom-enforced blasphemy law on the books. Indeed, that was Whitehouse’s ordinary means of bullying: Private prosecutions based on that nineteenth-century law. I’m equal-opportunity on this sort of thing: I gave copies of Kazantzakis’s “blasphemy” as gifts in the 80s, too. In an ostensibly Python-worshipping nation.

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