Release Date: April 18, 2005
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Internationally acclaimed novelist and public intellectual Salman Rushdie will speak at 8 p.m. April 28 in Alumni Arena on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus as the final speaker in UB's Distinguished Speakers Series for 2004-05.
Presenting sponsor of the series is The Don Davis Auto World Lectureship Fund. Series sponsor is the undergraduate Student Association (SA). Lecture sponsor is the Graduate Student Association.
Rushdie is perhaps best known as the author of "Midnight's Children" and "The Satanic Verses." The latter novel was deemed sacrilegious by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeni, who in 1989 issued a fatwa calling on zealous Muslims to execute the writer -- who was forced into hiding -- and the publishers of the book. Rushdie went on to produce some of his most compelling work, including "The Moor's Last Sigh" and "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," while living in exile under the constant threat of death.
His most recent book, "Step Across This Line: Collected Non-Fiction, 1992-2002," explores his own reaction to the fatwa, as well as reactions of the media and various governments.
In most of his works, Rushdie draws on his unique upbringing and personal history to make bold statements about modern life.
An astute and informed observer of events in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and other hotspots, Rushdie argues that America and its allies must do a better job of evaluating the gains being made by the current "war" on terror versus its costs -- in lives, international cooperation and the goodwill of the very people who the effort is designed to liberate. Rushdie's answer to the question of how to create a safe world that isn't in some way also an authoritarian world is that we must not allow ourselves to be frightened out of our own morality.
Rushdie is an honorary professor in the humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He attended Cambridge College, where he studied history.
Tickets range from $26 to $12 and can be purchased at the Alumni Arena box office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at all Tops Friendly Markets and through Tickets.com.