Rushdie: it's time to tell the story of my fatwa

Salman Rushdie is to write a book about the decade he spent in hiding while living under a fatwa issued by the then-Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini.

Rushdie, who is in the middle of a five-year stint as a lecturer at the Emory University in Atlanta, said: "It's my story, and at some point it needs to be told."

Rushdie was speaking at the opening of an exhibition of his manuscripts, letters and photographs that he donated to the university in 2006, and which have finally been catalogued and transferred into digital format.

"That point is getting closer, I think," added Rushdie. "When it was in cardboard boxes and dead computers, it would have been very, very difficult, but now it's all organised."

Rushdie, 62, was forced into hiding in 1989 when Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill the author, claiming that his book The Satanic Verses insulted Islam.

The author has said very little about this period in his life, although he once had to set the record straight. In 2008 a former police bodyguard, Ron Evans, claimed in a book that after becoming irritated with Rushdie, his protection officers locked the author in a cupboard and went to the pub. Rushdie claimed in the High Court that this, and 11 other statements made in the book, including the claim that he had been suicidal, were false. Evans apologised and 4,000 undistributed copies were pulped.

But Rushdie's relationship with his protectors was occasio... >>>

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