Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eyes on Rushdie

Salman Rushdie speaks with Anirudh Bhattacharyya of CNN-IBN about his new book, The Enchantress of Florence (Random House).

Though Bhattacharyya keeps things tightly focused throughout the interview, the reporter couldn’t resist asking the question that’s been most on a lot of people’s minds since Rushdie split with wife Padma Lakshmi earlier this year:
Anirudh Bhattacharyya: A personal question and a more serious one. You were separated recently, how difficult was that and what brought about?

Salman Rushdie: It is not that recently but it has been more than a year now. It was awful. It was a very sad event that I did not generate, I did not want it to happen. I tried very hard to prevent it from happening but in the end if people want to go their own way then that’s what they have to do. I am still very sad about.

It was a terrible year for me and I think that in many ways this book saved my life. The thing that I wasn’t able to do I did do and that was to plunge into my work and seek in the works some of the happiness that was available outside. I do think that oddly it is kind of a joyful book.

It is strange to me to read it and find that quality of passion and joy in the book, which was the opposite of how I was feeling though I wasn’t writing a book. As to why it happened I think that is a private thing.

Meanwhile, The Daily Mail reports that Rushdie has been escorting his own “Heather Mills (but this one has principles AND talent).”
Working the room at a Manhattan party, they made a surprising couple. At 32 and 5ft 9in, Aimee Mullins is 28 years younger and at least 2in taller than her companion, the portly author Sir Salman Rushdie.

Nevertheless, guests at the Soho Grand Hotel bash earlier this month were left in little doubt that, following the end of his fourth marriage to the sultry Padma Lakshmi, Rushdie now has a new, even younger, woman in his life.
The CNN-IBN interview is here. The Daily Mail piece is here. January Magazine’s 2002 interview with Rushdie is here.


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