Thursday, January 22, 2009
Associated Press, from The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Ohio.
New York - Nearly 20 years after being driven underground by a religious decree, he is now Sir Salman Rushdie, properly famous and free, yet still burdened by his status as a symbol of persecution.
"This is the albatross around my neck," the novelist said Sunday during a conversation with author-activist Irshad Manji at the 92nd Street Y on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
The 61-year-old Rushdie said he would rather be known as an artist than as a social critic and worries the attacks against his religious satire, "The Satanic Verses," have obscured "the real person that I am and the actual value of the books."