Salman Rushdie says he never regretted publishing The Satanic Verses, even though he genuinely feared for his life in the years following when an Islamic death sentence hovered over his head. And he admits it was the only time he doubted whether he wanted to be a writer.
More than a decade removed from the fatwa years, the British-Indian author says life is more or less back to normal. In an interview with Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, Rushdie reveals that he remains in contact with many of the British police who protected him and shares an amusing anecdote about a touchy feely encounter with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Rushdie sat down with Weisberg in the lead-up to publication of Jospeh Anton: A Memoir. In Part 1 of the interview, he explains why he wrote his life story in the third person. And in a third segment, Rushdie answers Slate reader questions, including his take on the 2012 election and how he came to be a nonbeliever.