WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

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Salman Rushdie

After Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or death sentence, against him in 1989, author Salman Rushdie was forced into a life on the run. When police asked him to choose an alias, he picked "Joseph Anton" after two of his literary heroes. Rushdie, who just completed a memoir, joins us to reflect on his work and his journey -- and its relevance to the uncertain future of the Muslim world.

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Novelist Salman Rushdie reflected on the toll that being asked to live underground for more than a decade took on his mental state. "I felt very often ashamed of the way I was being asked to live," Rushdie said. "It felt degrading and humiliating and not honorable." Rushdie also discussed how powerful the values of honor and shame are in Eastern culture.

Rushdie shared a humorous childhood story, and explained why a member of his security detail earned the moniker "King of Spain."

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Excerpted from "Joseph Anton" by Salman Rushdie. Copyright 2012 by Salman Rushdie. Reprinted here by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.

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