Wide World of Quotes > Salman Rushdie Quotes

Salman Rushdie
Indian-born British novelist
(1947- )

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Most of what happens in your life takes place in your absence.
-- Midnight's Children (1981), 'Alpha and Omega', bk. 2

We who have grown up on a diet of honour and shame can still grasp what must seem unthinkable to people living in the aftermath of the death of God and of tragedy: that men will sacrifice their dearest love on the implacable altars of their pride.
-- Shame (1983), pt. 3, ch. 7

A poet's work... To name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it from going to sleep.
-- The Satanic Verses (1988), ch. 2

To burn a book is not to destroy it. One minute of darkness will not make us blind.
-- Book review in Weekend Guardian (London), 14-15 October 1989

No story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old -- it is the new combinations that make them new.
-- Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990)

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
-- In Weekend Guardian (London), 10 February 1990

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas -- Uncertainty, Progress, Change -- into crimes.
-- Imaginary Homelands (1991), pt.12, ch. 5

One of the things a writer is for is to say the unsayable, speak the unspeakable and ask difficult questions.
-- Quoted in: Independent on Sunday (London), 10 September 1995, 'Quotes of the Week'

Books have to teach their readers how to read them.
-- The Observer Review, 16 April 1995

It means everything -- it means freedom.
-- Responding to news that the fatwa had been lifted. In: Mail on Sunday (London), 27 September 1998

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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