He Said, He Said

Supplementing the rumors that the Booker Prize will be renamed the Rushdie Prize, Sir Salman has made some tabloid-style news in England (despite the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, the Telegraph is a broadsheet) now that one of his former bodyguards is publishing a memoir (“Salman Rushdie locked in cupboard while fatwa police protection team went to pub,” by Aislinn Simpson, and, I know, it reads like an Onion headline, doesn’t it?):

In his autobiography ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’, Evans paints an unflattering picture of Rushdie as tight-fisted, rude and arrogant, and claims the team of protection officers nicknamed him Scruffy because of his unkempt appearance.

He said the protection team were expected to pay him rent for their sparse lodgings in a safe house, and were on one occasion confined to their rooms so Rushdie – codenamed Joe – could spent an intimate evening with girlfriend and later third wife Elizabeth West.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rushdie is mulling his own book on the subject (“Rushdie ‘may write book on fatwa,” BBC):

“I guess there’s a story there,” he said. “Various people [are] encouraging me to tell it, and maybe I will.”

Whatever happened to “what happens in fatwa hiding, stays in fatwa hiding”?

(I was going to title this post “Salman Spawning Books” but somehow I thought better of it.)



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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