Author’s 007 experience makes for a most interesting life

Oct 16, 2012 No Comments by

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.—The Institute for Leadership Studies nabbed world famous author, Salman Rushdie, for a packed to the rafters inspirational talk in Angelico Hall on Tuesday September 25, 2012. The controversial and innovative thinker did not disappoint the Domincian University of California crowd.

Rushdie was warmly received as he talked about his latest book, “Joseph Anton: A Memoir.” The book’s title “Joseph Anton” was Rushdie’s pseudonym while he was in hiding for nearly a decade due to a fatwa placed on his head by the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran for his allegedly blasphemous novel, “The Satanic Verses.” The work was considered by fundamentalist leaders of Islam as derogatory of the religion.

“Somewhat depressingly, I acquired something that most writers don’t have, which is an interesting life.’’

-Salman Rushdie

While “Joseph Anton: A Memoir” focuses on a very grave subject, Rushdie’s delightful manner in his appearance was both funny and charming while he recalled stories from his past. He regaled his audience with funny anecdotes about his reclusive life while living under guard 24/7.

On Tuesday September 25, 2012 Salman Rusdhie spoke on campus at Dominican University. He discussed his new book “Joseph Anton: A Memoir.”

In one story he talked about how his then nine year old son became friends with one of his assigned security guards named, “Fat Jack.” In another, Rushdie told about wearing a wig designed by British intelligence to disguise him that failed miserably in concealing his identity and made him a laughing stock as passers by recognized him on the sidewalk outside of Harrods department store in London.

Rushdie pointed out that he originally had no intention of writing a book about himself, and noted that he never liked the style or idea of autobiographies. He also confessed that he does not enjoy the genre of spy novels. He said,”I didn’t become a writer to write about myself. To tell stories that I made up was what I wanted to do.”

In an ironic way, Rushdie was compelled to write a book about himself because his life had turned out to be much like the spy novels he disdained. He said the memoir project came about, “Somewhat depressingly, because I (Rushdie) acquired something that most writers don’t have, which is an interesting life.”

A night filled with Rushdie’s amusing anecdotes was capped off by members of the audience asking him questions. Through all the queries he kept his personable and amusing demeanor leading up to the final question that capped the evening off to great laughter and applause.

“I think if on the whole, you can avoid being condemned to death by the tyrannical head of a (country), I would recommend you take that route.’’

-Salman Rushdie

Rushdie was asked if there was a part of him that could now see a positive side of Khomeini’s Fatwa. He replied, “I think if on the whole, you can avoid being condemned to death by the tyrannical head of a (country),” intentionally slurring his words in order to not name anyone specific, “I would recommend you take that route.”

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About the author

Brian Sanchez is a senior Communications and Media Studies major at Dominican University of California with an emphasis on Sports Broadcasting. When he isn't broadcasting sports for Dominican University on he is writing about them. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to join The Habit in time to be a part of the launch of the web edition of the student newspaper. He hopes to cover all things Dominican to the best of his abilities and use that to land a job covering sports for a career after he graduates. It doesn't matter what sport or where, but his ultimate goal is to end up back in the bay area covering the teams he grew up watching.
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