Mr. Rushdie, the author of
The Satanic Verses and
The Ground Beneath Her Feet, reads from his newest novel,
Shalimar the Clown.
This event took place on November 3, 2005.
Christopher Hitchens’ engagement with novelist Salman Rushdie is immediately striking. First, there is the program itself: A ferocious anti-Zionist interviews a Muslim-turned-fatwa-target at the 92nd Street Y, ostensibly a Jewish organization, nevertheless flouting its nuanced, erudite cultural palette here. Then there’s the seeming unlikelihood of the loquaciously polemic Hitchens keeping quiet long enough to let Rushdie speak. Indeed, as this 2005 interview transpired, Hitchens’ star was perhaps outshining that of his old friend. Nonetheless, Rushdie lilts through an hour of uninterrupted excerpts from his acclaimed Shalimar the Clown, after which Hitchens, at once blithe and penetrating, drills the author regarding Indian democracy, literature, history, and foreign affairs. Reflective and forthright, Rushdie candidly acknowledges his own uneasy relationship with his country of birth.
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