A few years back, whilst the Dilettante was living in London, I was walking along a quiet street near Regent’s Park when who should I pass by but the man himself – Salman Rushdie. Ironically, a woman walking in front of me stopped him to ask … for directions! (Obviously not a reader then!). Now, this was toward the end of the time under which the fatwa issued by the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini was active, and I must admit I was searching the street for open second-storey windows complete with the tell-tale glimmer of a reflected sun in a sniper’s scope, ready for MI-5 agents to appear from every direction – and this from someone who rarely reads spy-thrillers! Fortunately for both of us, no glimmers were encountered, and a much-admired author lived to tell the tale. For that is exactly what Rushdie is planning: a book about that long decade according to The Guardian.
It will no-doubt be an interesting read from a master story-teller, though quite how it will play without his signature magic realism remains to be seen, although there is sure to be a surrealist edge to the bizarre and tragic cloud that he was forced to live beneath for those long years.
Will you be one keen to read the story? Let me know.