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Speaker Series: Salman Rushdie

  • Dates: December 4, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Price: Free
  • Overview

    Salman Rushdie returns to Albany to present his new novel Quichotte (2019), a dazzling homage to Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quixote, the 17th century mock epic that is a founding work of Western literature and the most-translated book after the Bible.

    In Rushdie’s novel, a second-rate writer of spy thrillers falls in love with a TV star and sets off on a cross-country quest to prove himself worthy of her hand. book Quichotte is a wild ride through modern America — a society on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse — and examines racism, father–son relationships, the opioid crisis, cyber-spies, and the end of the world.

    Publishers Weekly called it, “a brilliant rendition of the cheesy, sleazy, scary pandemonium of life in modern times.”

    This will be Salman Rushdie's second appearance with the NYS Writers Institute. He was a featured speaker for two events at UAlbany on April 19, 2018. 

    That event occurred 30 years after the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwā ordering Rushdie's execution forced the cancellation of a scheduled appearance in Albany in 1989.

    “Everyone wanted him back, and on some level we felt like we deserved to have him back,” Writers Institute Assistant Director Mark Koplik told the Times Union in a story published in April 18, 2018. "[Koplik] had persevered for years with inquiries about getting Rushdie to come to Albany," the newspaper wrote.

    Salman Rushdie is widely recognized as a leading figure of world literature. His 1981 novel, Midnight’s Children, received not only the Booker Prize, but also the 1993 “Booker of Bookers” and the 2008 “Best of the Booker,” selected from all 41 winners since the prize’s inception in 1969.

    Rushdie's novels include Grimus, Midnight’s Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, Luka and the Fire of Life, Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights, and The Golden House – and one collection of short stories: East, West.

    He has also published four works of non-fiction – Joseph Anton, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and Step Across This Line – and co-edited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

    A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.

    Sponsored by the UAlbany Student Association, Division of Student Affairs, Alumni Association, and University Auxiliary Services in partnership with the NewYork State Writers Institute.

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