Celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie will be the speaker for the 10th Coe College Contemporary Issues Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. A brilliant provocateur, Rushdie has written a handful of classic novels, influenced a generation of writers, and received a Queen’s Knighthood for “services to literature.” He stands as both a pop culture icon and one of the most thought-provoking proponents for free speech today.
Limited reserved seating is available by calling the Coe Box Office at 319-399-8600 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
Best known for writing “The Satanic Verses,” Rushdie’s novels include “The Moor’s Last Sigh,” “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” and “The Enchantress of Florence.” For his masterwork of magic realism, “Midnight’s Children,” he won the prestigious Booker Prize, and later, the Best of the Booker. His memoir “Joseph Anton” was published in September 2012. Rushdie was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of “2012’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.”
An eclectic writer and noted public intellectual, Rushdie has won many of the world’s top literary prizes. He has published a heralded collection of essays, “Step Across the Line,” written a book on “The Wizard of Oz,” and served for two years as president of The PEN American Center, the world’s oldest human rights organization. Rushdie’s “Luka and the Fire of Life” is a children’s novel and a companion to “Haroun and the Sea of Stories.”
In his lectures, Rushdie braids together the worlds of literature, politics and philosophy in a show of intellectual pyrotechnics and deadpan humor that conveys fully the texture of modern life. He speaks about the major themes coursing through his writing, his life and our world: freedom of expression, religion, pop culture, current events at home and abroad, East-West relations, and the role of the artist to shape our understanding of the world. For those more interested in his writing, he touches on storytelling, the magical realism he made famous, and the unique sensibility of his self-proclaimed “globe-swallowing, capricious books.”
Established by the late K. Raymond Clark ’30, the Contemporary Issues Forum presents the views of distinguished leaders whose work has shaped and altered the course of world events. The forum has featured former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Poland President Lech Walesa, deep-sea oceanographer Robert Ballard, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau, ecology expert Jared Diamond, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts.