Monday, April 22, 2024

Salman Rushdie Solidarity Rally Planned by PENAmerica For Friday on the Steps of the NY Public Library


Time passes and nothing changes. I remember vividly participating in a PEN rally for Salman Rushdie back in 1988. Among the writers I went with were the late Nancy Milford and Judith Rossner. The room was packed with famous literary names.

Now, with the vicious attack on the famed writer imperiling him, PEN is organizing a new solidarity rally this Friday on the steps of the NY Public Library. A group of writers will read from “The Satanic Verses” and other pieces of his work.

The writers involved so far include Paul Auster, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Tina Brown, Kiran Desai, Andrea Elliott, Amanda Foreman, A.M. Homes, Siri Hustvedt, Hari Kunzru, Colum McCann, Douglas Murray, Andrew Solomon, and Gay Talese.

The event will be live streamed at 11 am with the hashtag #StandwithSalman. It is being organized by PEN, the New York Public Library, PenguinRandom House, and Amanda Foreman’s House of SpeakEasy. The live coverage will be on Twitter @penamerica. If there’s a way to embed it here on the site, I’ll let our readers know.

Amanda writes: “We are again facing a watershed moment. The war against freedom of expression is gaining strength. Globally, over 2000 writers and journalists have been murdered since Rushdie was sentence to death by Iran. On August 19 we have an opportunity to make a stand: courage breeds courage.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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