"It's my story, and ... it does need to be told," Salman Rushdie told reporters this week.
The fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini made Rushdie one of the most famous writers on the face of the earth. But it also stole a decade of his freedom. Now Rushdie says that he will write about the ten years he spent in hiding.
"It's my story, and at some point, it does need to be told. That point is getting closer, I think," Rushdie told reporters at Emory University, where an exhibition of his personal correspondence, papers, and manuscripts will open tomorrow. He commented that "When [the archive material] was in cardboard boxes and dead computers, it would have been very, very difficult, but now it's all organized."
It was 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini ordered Muslims to kill Rushdie for having written "The Satanic Verses," calling the book an insult to Islam, the prophet Muhammad, and the Koran.
In the literary world, many are already predicting that a book by Rushdie about his years in hiding would be a huge commercial success. "Rushdie's profile is clearly massive, he still sells strongly, and he'll get a lot of publicity for this book if he decides to write it," Benedicte Page, associate editor at the Bookseller, told The Guardian.