Writer Salman Rushdie signs memoirs deal: publishers

21st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Indian-born British writer Salman Rushdie, who spent a decade in hiding after his novel, "The Satanic Verses", sparked threats against his life, is writing his memoirs, the publishers said Thursday.

"I have waited a long time to write this memoir, until I felt I was ready to do it. I'm ready now," said Rushdie, adding that he was "delighted" that his long-term publishers Random House were producing the book.

The 63-year-old has already written a first draft and expects to finish the manuscript by the end of the year, with a view to publishing it in 2012.

It will be issued in Spanish, German and in audio and e-book versions at the same time in 17 countries, in what Random House said was "one of the most far-reaching multi-national and multi-language book publishing deals".

The autobiography will chart Rushdie's life from his arrival in Britain as a child to attend a boarding school and then Cambridge University, to his evolution as a writer and his experience of love and children.

It will also relate his years in hiding after Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a "fatwa" or decree calling for his death on grounds of blasphemy for writing "The Satanic Verses" in 1988.

The book was considered by the ayatollah and his supporters to be an insult to the prophet Mohammed and the bounty on Rushdie's head was not lifted until 1998.

Susan Kamil, publisher of the US arm of Random House, said she had read parts of the first draft of Rushdie's new book and was confident it would not disappoint.

"We are dazzled once again by his prodigious literary gifts and his mesmerizing ability to tell a riveting story, this time of his very own life," she said in a statement.

Rushdie is currently working on a film version of his 1981 Booker Prize-winning "Midnight's Children", and his latest novel, "Luka and the Fire of Life", has just gone on sale in Britain.

© 2010 AFP

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