19 June 2023

Sir Salman Rushdie awarded prestigious German literary prize

19 June 2023

Sir Salman Rushdie has been awarded a prestigious German prize for his literary work and for his resolve and positive attitude in the face of constant danger, organisers have said.

The Satanic Verses author will receive the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in Frankfurt on October 22.

Sir Salman’s writing “combines narrative vision with constant literary innovation, humour and wisdom”, the jury said, adding: “He describes the force with which violent regimes destroy whole societies, but also the indestructibility of the individual’s spirit of resistance.”

Last August, Sir Salman was stabbed repeatedly while on stage at a literary festival in New York state.

“Despite massive physical and psychological consequences that he is still wrestling with, he continues to write – in an imaginative and deeply human way,” the German jury wrote.

“We are honouring Salman Rushdie for his resolve, his positive attitude to life and for the fact that he enriches the world with his pleasure in narrating.”

Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had condemned as blasphemous passages referring to the Prophet Muhammad in Sir Salman’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.

Khomeini issued a decree the following year calling for the writer’s death, forcing the author into hiding – although he had been travelling freely for years before last summer’s stabbing.

The German prize, which is endowed with 25,000 euro (around £21,300), has been awarded since 1950.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox