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Salman Rushdie's Geni Profile

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Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie

Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Immediate Family:

Son of <private> Rushdie and <private> Rushdie (Bhatt)
Widower of Clarissa Mary Luard
Ex-husband of <private> Luard; <private> Wiggins; <private> West and Padma Parvati Lakshmi
Father of <private> Rushdie; <private> Rushdie and <private> Rushdie

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • <private> Rushdie
    • <private> Luard
    • <private> Rushdie
    • <private> Wiggins
    • <private> West
    • <private> Rushdie
    • <private> Rushdie (Bhatt)
    • <private> Rushdie
    • <private> Wiggins
      ex-wife's child
    • <private> Lakshmi-Dell (Dell)
      ex-wife's child

About Salman Rushdie

He is a British-Indian novelist and essayist. He achieved notability with his second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), which won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism mixed with historical fiction, and a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western worlds.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of a major controversy, drawing protests from Muslims in several countries. Some of the protests were violent, in which death threats were issued to Rushdie, including a fatwā against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, in February 1989.

He was appointed a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to literature" in June 2007. He holds the rank Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. He began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University in 2007. In May 2008 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2008, The Times ranked Rushdie thirteenth on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". His latest novel is The Enchantress of Florence, published in June 2008 In 2010, he announced that he has begun writing his memoir.

The only son of Anis Ahmed Rushdie, a University of Cambridge-educated lawyer turned businessman, and Negin Bhatt, a teacher, Rushdie was born in Bombay (now known as Mumbai), India. He was educated at Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, Rugby School, and King's College, Cambridge, where he studied history. He worked for two advertising agencies (Ogilvy & Mather and Ayer Barker) before becoming a full-time writer.

Rushdie has been married four times. He was married to his first wife Clarissa Luard from 1976 to 1987 and fathered a son, Zafar. His second wife was the American novelist Marianne Wiggins; they were married in 1988 and divorced in 1993. His third wife, from 1997 to 2004, was Elizabeth West; they have a son, Milan. In 2004, he married the Indian American actress and model Padma Lakshmi, the host of the American reality-television show Top Chef. The marriage ended on 2 July 2007, with Lakshmi indicating that it was her desire to end the marriage. In 2008 the Bollywood press romantically linked him to the Indian model Riya Sen, with whom he was otherwise a friend. In response to the media speculation about their friendship, she simply stated "I think when you are Salman Rushdie, you must get bored with people who always want to talk to you about literature."

In 1999, Rushdie had an operation to correct ptosis, a tendon condition that causes drooping eyelids and which, according to him, was making it increasingly difficult for him to open his eyes. "If I hadn't had an operation, in a couple of years from now I wouldn't have been able to open my eyes at all," he said.

Rushdie was knighted for services to literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours on 16 June 2007. He remarked, "I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way." In response to his knighthood, many nations with Muslim majorities protested. Parliamentarians of several of these countries condemned the action, and Iran and Pakistan called in their British envoys to protest formally. Controversial condemnation issued by Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq was in turn rebuffed by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Ironically, their respective fathers Zia-ul-Haq and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had been earlier portrayed in Rushdie's novel Shame. Mass demonstrations against Rushdie's knighthood took place in Pakistan and Malaysia. Several called publicly for his death. Some non-Muslims were disappointed by Rushdie's knighthood, believing that the writer did not merit such an honour and there were several other writers who deserved the knighthood more than Rushdie.

Al-Qaeda has condemned the Rushdie honour. The Al-Qaeda deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri is quoted as saying in an audio recording that Britain's award for Indian-born Rushdie was "an insult to Islam", and it was planning "a very precise response."



   * Grimus (1975)
   * Midnight's Children (1981)
   * Shame (1983)
   * The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (1987)
   * The Satanic Verses (1988)
   * Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990)
   * Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism, 1981–1991 (1992)
   * Homeless by Choice (1992, with R. Jhabvala and V. S. Naipaul)
   * East, West (1994)
   * The Moor's Last Sigh (1995)
   * The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)
   * The Screenplay of Midnight's Children (1999)
   * Fury (2001)
   * Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992 - 2002 (2002)
   * Shalimar the Clown (2005)
   * The Enchantress of Florence (2008)
   * The Best American Short Stories (2008, as Guest Editor)
   * Luka and the Fire of Life (2010)


   * "A fine pickle." The Guardian, 28 February 2009.
   * "Imagine There Is No Heaven." , extracted contribution from Letters to the Six Billionth World Citizen, a UN sponsored publication in English by Uitgeverij Podium, Amsterdam. The Guardian, 16 October 1999.
   * "Mohandas Gandhi." TIME, 13 April 1998.


   * Aristeion Prize (European Union)
   * Arts Council Writers' Award
   * Author of the Year (British Book Awards)
   * Author of the Year (Germany)
   * Booker Prize for Fiction
   * Booker of Bookers for the best novel among the Booker Prize winners for Fiction awarded at its 25th anniversary (in 1993)
   * The Best of the Booker awarded to commemorate the Booker Prize's 40th anniversary (in 2008), winner by public vote
   * Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
   * English-Speaking Union Award
   * Honorary Patron, University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin.
   * Hutch Crossword Book Award (India)
   * India Abroad Lifetime Achievement Award (USA)
   * James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Fiction)
   * Kurt Tucholsky Prize (Sweden)
   * Mantua Prize (Italy)
   * James Joyce Award – University College Dublin
   * Massachusetts Institute of Technology Honorary Professorship
   * Chapman University Honorary Doctorate – Doctor of Humane Letters
   * Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Humanism (Harvard University)
   * Premio Grinzane Cavour (Italy)
   * Prix Colette (Switzerland)
   * Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger
   * St. Louis Literary Award – Saint Louis University
   * State Prize for Literature (Austria)
   * Whitbread Novel Award (twice)
   * Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Children's Fiction


Knighthood of Salman Rushdie:

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Salman Rushdie's Timeline

June 19, 1947
Bombay, Maharashtra, India