Salman Rushdie: timeline of the novelist’s career – The Guardian

The critically acclaimed writer rose to fame in 1981 and later received death threats for The Satanic Verses
Sir Salman Rushdie has been attacked and stabbed in the neck while appearing at an event in New York.
Here is a timeline of his controversial, critically acclaimed career:
Rushdie was born in what was then called Bombay, in the year of the partition of India, to a Kashmiri Muslim family. His father was a lawyer before going into business, and his mother was a teacher. He attended school in India and England, before studying history at the University of Cambridge.
Six years after his first novel, Grimus, was published to little fanfare, his second work shot him to literary fame. Midnight’s Children, a faux autobiography that follows a magical child born at the stroke of midnight as India gained independence, became a bestseller and won the Booker prize in 1981.
Rushdie’s fourth novel was published in the UK seven years after Midnight’s Children, with a plot partly inspired by the life of the prophet Muhammad. It was a Booker prize finalist and a Costa award winner but was described as blasphemous by many Muslims for its portrayal of Islam.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran, later issued an edict calling for Rushdie’s assassination. Khomeini urged “all brave Muslims” to kill Rushdie and his publishers, with the author then placed under police protection in Britain for nine years – and a resultant diplomatic breakdown between Iran and Britain.
A bomb was planted in the Beverley House hotel in central London by Mustafa Mazeh, a Lebanese man. However, it went off while Mazeh was priming the explosive, killing him. .
Hitoshi Igarashi, who translated The Satanic Verses into Japanese, was stabbed to death in his office at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. The assailant was never identified.
When Mohammad Khatami took over as Iran’s supreme leader, he declared the Iranian government would neither “support nor hinder” the killing of Rushdie, in order to try to ease the diplomatic relationship with the UK.
Rushdie was knighted for services to literature in in June. He said at the time: “I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way.” The knighthood sparked protests across the Muslim world, with Pakistan and Iran protesting formally by returning their British envoys.
Rushdie’s name appeared on a list, published in Al-Qaida’s magazine, of people the group wanted killed.
Rushdie was due to appear at the Jaipur literature festival in India but he cancelled, fearing for his life after he was warned by police that assassins had been sent to kill him.
Rushdie was stabbed in the neck while on stage at an event in Chautauqua, New York. Police said the suspect was restrained and in custody.

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