In his first appearance at Southbank Centre in over a decade, Rushdie reflects on the full range of his writing, his remarkable life, the currents and characters in American politics that inspired his latest novel and the value of dark comedy in tumultuous times.
Rushdie established his reputation with award-winning novels Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses and Shame. Combining biting satire with bold inventiveness, Rushdie has chronicled the postcolonial world in fiction.
The Golden House, his 13th novel, is a satirical and incisive anatomy of contemporary American politics. A prescient re-imagining of Trump's America, the novel is book-ended by the election of Barack Obama and the eve of an election eight years on in which the front-runner is known as 'The Joker'.
The focus of the novel is Nero Golden, a man of enormous wealth with a Russian wife who arrives in Greenwich Village with his three adult sons. The novel charts Nero's infidelities, family arguments and even his criminal activities, capturing the pressing debates of the present, from post-truth politics to gender identity.
His other novels include Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence and Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, a re-imagining of the Arabian Nights set in the future.
Rushdie has received many awards for his writing, including the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
In 1993, Midnight's Children was judged to be the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In June 2007, he received a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
A longstanding champion of free speech, Rushdie is former president of PEN American Center.