Rushdie's love story wins a sweetheart deal
Saturday 06 July 1996
The Ground Beneath Her Feet, due for publication in 1999 will be a story of "love, death and music". It will be the seventh novel by the author, who has lived in hiding since becoming the subject of a fatwah in 1989. Jonathan Cape have bought the rights to publish the book at a sum rumoured to be pounds 750,000.
Mr Rushdie said it would be a departure from his previous novels: "It's a love story...I felt this book brought what I'd previously been doing to a point. One of the things I most liked was being able to write a series of love stories and put a love story right in the centre."
Mr Rushdie described how his involuntary confinement had not affected his ability to write.
"I more or less do it like an office job," he said. "And I'm not very good early in the morning."
He denied that living under a persistent threat had affected the tone of his writing. "Everyone told me that The Moor's Last Sigh has been the funniest thing I've ever written," he says.
Mr Rushdie, who on Thursday night gave a sell-out talk in Oxford, yesterday conducted his first open-book signing in seven years, autographing paperback copies of his novel for a queue of approximately 200 fans at Dillons book store in Gower Street, central London.
Staff at the bookstore said that at one stage the book, which has sold more than 130,000 copies in hardback, was the only thing being bought in the shop.
He spent an hour chatting to customers and posing for snaps under the watchful gaze of four security men. The signing was the first without tickets since the fatwah was issued, following publication of his book The Satanic Verses.
Despite the apparently relaxed tone of his public appearances, Mr Rushdie said he had been advised that the fatwah was still very much in place. The European Union campaign to remove the threat against him was still being pursued "as enthusiastically as ever," he said.
"But I think it's important to show that the business of literature is not derailed by this kind of threat and that writers will write, booksellers will sell, and readers will read, and that goes on," he said.
Also at the signing was Caroline Michel, who published Mr Rushdie's paperbacks at Vintage. She revealed that the author was also busy editing a compilation of Indian writing from the last 50 years, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Indian independence. The Vintage Book of Indian Writing 1947-1997 will be published next summer.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food