Internationally renowned author to visit Cayman

| 09/11/2010

(CNS): One of the world’s most famous modern writers, Salman Rushdie will be visiting the Cayman Islands this month. Described by organisers as a “once in a lifetime opportunity to meet one of the most celebrated and controversial writers of our time,” Cayman’s readers will be able to join the number one New York Times bestselling author and “Best of the Booker” prize winner for a discussion and signing of his new book Luka and the Fire of Life. The event will begin in Gardenia Court, Camana Bay on 19 November when Rushdie will treat the public to an intimate presentation and reading before taking questions from the audience. The discussion will be immediately followed by a book signing at Books & Books.

Rushdie’s fame as a post colonial writer is not just as a result of the quality of his work but because of the international controversy it has stirred. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, lead to accusations of blasphemy against Islam and the Iranian leadership issued a fatwa against Rushdie in1989 – effectively a death sentence – forcing him into hiding under the protection of the British government. The fatwa was lifted in 1998.

Since Satanic verses Rushdie has gone on to write a serious of novels, non-fiction books and screenplays. Midnight’s Children which was his first work and one of his most famous, was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981, the Booker of Bookers in 1993, and, in 2008, the Best of the Booker.

His latest work Luka and the Fire of Life is described by critics as a “thrilling, delightful, lyrically crafted fable for the young and young at heart,” which begins one beautiful starry night in the land of Alifbay.

Luka’s father, Rashid, the legendary storyteller of Kahani, falls suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through the world of magic with his loyal companions, Bear (the dog) and Dog (the bear). Together they encounter a slew of fantastical creatures, strange allies, andchallenging obstacles—all in the hopes of stealing the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly treacherous task but one that must be done in order to save Luka’s father’s life.

Written for his youngest son, Milan, Luka and the Fire of Life is a companion to Rushdie’s earlier novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which he wrote for his eldest son, Zafar. The story is a classic quest myth exploring the relationships between fathers and sons, life and death, the real and the imagined, freedom and authority. Filled with frolicking wordplay and unexpected twists, and fueled by the power of words and the imagination, this is Salman Rushdie at his best.

“It has been my aim, in Luka as in Haroun, to write a story that demolishes the boundary between ‘adult’ and ‘children’s’ literature. A child may read these books and, I hope, derive from them the pleasures and satisfactions that children seek from books. The same child may read them again when he or she is grown, and see a different book, with adult satisfactions instead of (or as well as) the earlier ones. Luka and the Fire of Life has been the most enjoyable writing experience I’ve had since I wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories.” – Salman Rushdie said of his latest work.

This free event is open to the public on Friday, November 19 at 7pm. It is part of the Books & Books International Visiting Author Series and is generously sponsored by Ogier.


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  1. Anonymous says:

     MIdnight’s Children was one of the best novels of our time. Salman Rushdie did something (at least in his earlier works) that has been done by very few authors in the history of mankind; he re-invented the English language. One could say the same about Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Derek Walcott, Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a very short list of others. It is no accident that he won the Booker of Bookers and that
    Walcott, Morrison and Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s encouraging to see Cayman welcoming an atheist celebrity.

    Only several short years ago, the Cayman Ministers Association would have freaked out and demanded he be turned away lest he seduce our youth with reason.

    We’re growing up!


  3. A Concerned Young Caymanian Father says:

    I read a lot of books and wouldn’t mind meeting him in person, as I’ve read some of his books.

  4. Anonymous says:

    He is one of the most overrated, unread authors alive today. People buy his books because of who he is (ie famous for the "fatwa" against him) but don’t read them because they are so tedious, overblown and unreadable. His "masterpiece" Midnight’s Children is a case in point.

    • Foxtrot Oscar says:

      No doubt you would say similar things about Joyce.

      I am sure the staff at Books and Books will let you know when the next Dan Brown or John Grisham is published. 


      • Anonymous says:

        Foxtrot Oscar, actually no I would not say that about Joyce, except where Finnegans Wake is concerned. And I have not read any books by Brown or Grisham and have no desire to meet them. I have, however, seen films based on their novels, none of which seemed to me to have any merit. 

        Sorry I expressed my opinion on Rushdie; I should have kept it to myself.

        • Anonymous says:

          Rushdie’s celebrity and the fatwa did not attract me to his work. In fact, it was simply the "page turner" quality of his imaginative stories which brought the beauty, colours, and complex culture of the Indian sub-continent alive to me (read Fury or Shalimar the Clown). I think that he is a fantastic author and have enjoyed many of his book a great deal. Whilst his work might not be everybody’s cup of tea; my view is that he is clearly one of the leading novelists of his generation and it’s great to have him visit Cayman. If you are not into his work then there’s no need to turn up to his book reading, it will simply be one less person in what is bound tobe a very big crowd and queue for his autograph!

      • whodatis says:

        (Shudders at the mere mention of John Grisham!)

        I made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing one of his "best selling" masterpieces a few years back in preparation for a Trans-Atlantic flight.

        Lets just say I was saved by the in-flight movie entertainment.

        Such cr*p!!

        Reminded me of something I would conjure up back in middle school!

        Amazing what is often considered as good writing these days.

      • Lit Crit says:

        Foxtrot Oscar (FO?):

        Your comment about Joyce seems appropriate but did you get a "rush" when you concluded with the nasty comment about Dan Brown and John Grisham? I don’t think the poster to whom you responded deseved that gratuitous insult.