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Salman Rushdie

The Misfortune of an Interesting Life

Salman Rushdie Midtown Manhattan is almost afloat, battered by a near-monsoon. Sheets of rain drench anyone foolhardy enough to cross 8th Avenue, but when Salman Rushdie saunters into the Wylie Agency, umbrella in hand, there’s nary a droplet to be seen on his pinstriped suit.

He may look rather devilish in photographs, but in person, Rushdie, now 63, seems serene, unflappable, quietly happy—exactly the type to be calm in the eye of a storm, literary or otherwise. In a spacious office, he reminisces about how much smaller Andrew Wylie’s headquarters were when the literary super-agent poached him in 1987; the move helped the predatory Wylie earn the nickname “The Jackal.” The next year, Rushdie published The Satanic Verses, which would vault him to an unforeseen level—and undesirable type—of fame in 1989, when the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him.

— Story continues at Maclean’s

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