Internationally-known writer Salman Rushdie comes to Iowa next week to talk to audiences at the University of Iowa and Drake. Rushdie says he’ll talk about freedom of expression. Rushdie says he comes to Iowa primarily as a novelist, and will talk about the art of the novel, the liberty of the imaginatino, and themes of interest to him like global mass-migration and how that’s changed the world in which we live. Another of Rushdie’s favorite ideas comes to mind when he plans a visit to Iowa. It’s the theme of the changing definition of “the frontier,” he says, and how it changes the nations we live in — but he wants to talk also about human beings as storytelling animals. Once under a death sentence for his novel “The Satanic Verses,” Rushdie was freed from the fatwah when the Iranian leader who issued it finally died. He said it made him think the only thing worse than a bad review from the Ayatollah Khomeini is a good review from that leader. The novelist says he’s heard a lot about the University of Iowa and its distinguished alumni and the many best-selling authors who’ve attended its writer’s workshops. Rushdie speaks at the University of Iowa Monday night and Tuesday evening at Drake University in Des Moines.
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