(Ahmed) (1947-) British writer. He was born in India of a Muslim family. His novel The Satanic Verses 1988 (the title refers to verses deleted from the Koran) offended many Muslims with alleged blasphemy. In 1989 the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran called for Rushdie and his publishers to be killed.
Rushdie was born in Bombay and later lived in Pakistan before moving to the UK. His earlier novels in the magic-realist style include Midnight’s Children 1981, which deals with India from the date of independence and won the Booker Prize, and Shame 1983, set in an imaginary parallel of Pakistan. The furor caused by the publication of The Satanic Verses led to the withdrawal of British diplomats from Iran. In India and elsewhere, people were killed in demonstrations against the book and Rushdie was forced to go into hiding. Haroun and the Sea of Stories, a children’s book, was published 1990.