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NYSWI Hosts Rushdie 

Salman Rushdie will discuss his latest novel on Thursday at UAlbany. (Photo by the Wall Street Journal) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 17, 2018) – The NYS Writers Institute welcomes Salman Rushdie to the University at Albany later this week, nearly 30 years after a fatwā ordering his execution forced the cancellation of a scheduled appearance in 1989.

In that year, Rushdie had planned to visit the Writers Institute to discuss his latest novel, The Satanic Verses. Posters were printed and press releases were sent, but four days before the event, the author and his wife went into heavily guarded seclusion in London following death threats and riots. A $6 million bounty was placed on his head by Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's religious leader, for blaspheming Islam in The Satanic Verses.

His upcoming appearance, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue on the Downtown Campus, brings Rushdie to Albany on a speaking tour in support of his new novel, the New York Times bestseller, The Golden House (2017), a parable of contemporary America set against the backdrop of current American culture and politics.

Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., Rushdie will hold a craft talk in Lecture Center 25 on the University's Uptown Campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

"We have long wanted to bring Salman Rushdie to UAlbany," said Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl, "The Writers Institute's persistence paid off. Rushdie is coming to campus after a 30-year hiatus."

The Golden House received praise in a review in The Guardian: "From Nero to Obama, via The Godfather... The veteran novelist blends ancient history and myth with popular culture, crime caper and film techniques to fashion a morality tale for today."

Rushdie is the author of 13 novels; a book of stories, East, West; and four works of non-fiction, including Joseph Anton, an account of his life in the wake of the controversy over The Satanic Verses.

The programs are co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the UAlbany Speaker Series.

See a slideshow detailing events surrounding Rushdie's canceled 1989 event.

For more information, contact the Writers Institute at (518) 442-5620.

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