Salman Rushdie: Writers Gather in New York to Read the Author’s Work in Solidarity | Salman Rushdie

On Friday morning, a crowd gathered near the steps of the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan as writers read the works of surviving novelist Salman Rushdie. assassination attempt West New York last week.

Event, Stand With Salman. Defend the Freedom to Write was organized by Pen America, his Penguin Random House, a library and publisher of Rushdie.

Rushdie was attacked and stabbed multiple times on stage while attempting to speak at the Chautauqua Institution last Friday.

Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, has been arrested. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder and assault.

Rushdie, 75, was hospitalized with serious injuries after being condemned by writers and politicians around the world as an attack on free expression.

A work many Muslims consider blasphemous led to death threats from Iran to Rushdie in the 1980s after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, demanding the death of the writer. .

Students, writers, activists and tourists attended Friday’s event in Manhattan. Several police officers with dogs lined the grounds with helmets and guns.

A middle-aged woman wore a white T-shirt that read “Read Rushdie” in colorful letters. Other attendees held up large printouts of the covers of Rushdie’s books, including the subject of the fatwa, Satanic Verse, Joseph Anton and Quixote.

Some had Penn America billboards featuring Rushdie quotes. One billboard read, “Art is not entertainment. Excerpt from Rushdie’s speech at Voices Festival.

Pamela Marquez, a staff member of the American Red Cross, attended by commuting by train from Fairfield, Connecticut.

“It’s very important to us to advocate and protect the rights of writers,” she told The Guardian. , I am here because it is so important to us and it does not get enough recognition.

“Knowledge is power, and we get that knowledge through books, and we get that knowledge through the creative minds of these writers.”

Salem Frey, an English teacher in Harlem, said she was attending to stand up for free speech.

Rushdie “positions himself as someone who is willing to say what he has to say, regardless of the outcome, and I think that’s an important thing to uphold,” Frey said.

Siri Hustvedt speaks as people gather on the steps of the New York Public Library to show their support for Salman Rushdie. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Suzanne Nossel, CEO of Penn America, said in her opening remarks:

“He sliced ​​through time and shook us all to realize that the horrors of the past were hauntingly present. He broke our composure and woke us up completely in the middle of the night, contemplating the sheer terror of those moments just a week ago.

“He shattered our comforts and made us think of the fragility of our own freedom. We come together to stand with our steadfast leader and comrade Salman, who endures the pain wrought by the declaration of war.

“We stand with Salman determined not only to boost his spirit, but to stiffen our spines.”

American novelist Jeffery Eugenides, best known for The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, describes a trip to London as a young writer before reading Rushdie’s 1981 novel Midnight’s Children. I’m here. Eugenides remembered how enamored he was of Rushdie’s work and wanted to meet him in person.

“I looked him up in the London telephone book, where he had an address and phone number under Rs – Rushdie, Salman. As it turned out, Salman wasn’t home…but his mother-in-law let me in…I told her why I was there.He and I went back to the hotel.

“It was the world we used to live in, and the only madness that came to the writer was the world brought in in the form of young, enthusiastic readers who appeared on his doorstep. I was called. Let’s do our best and do our best.”

The crowd applauded.

Other authors read at the event included Reginald Dwayne Betts, Siri Hustvedt, Gay Talese, Colum McCann, and Roya Hakakian.

Salman Rushdie: Writers Gather in New York to Read the Author’s Work in Solidarity | Salman Rushdie

Source link Salman Rushdie: Writers Gather in New York to Read the Author’s Work in Solidarity | Salman Rushdie

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