Salman Rushdie was already an award-winning author in England before his novel "The Satanic Verses" came out last year.
"Midnight's Children," published in 1981, was a success and won him two of Britain's most prestigious literary awards - the Booker McConnell Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Book Prize.The book is about Bombay and the children born at the moment India gained its independence from Britain in 1947 - the same year he was born.
His book "Shame," a mythologized account of the intricacies of Pakistani politics, was published in 1983 and this was followed in 1987 by "The Jaguar Smile: a Nicaraguan journey."
"The Satanic Verses," published last year, won the 1988 Whitbread Novel Award and was runner-up for the Booker Prize.
Rushdie also contributes to numerous literary journals.
Born to a Moslem family in Bombay, India, Rushdie went to the Cathedral School in his hometown. When he was 13 his father sent him to Rugby, one of Britain's top private schools.
Rushdie wanted to return home after Rugby but won a scholarship to Cambridge University's King's College and his parents insisted he went there. He majored in history at King's, showing a particular interest in the prophet Mohammed and reading books that were banned in some Islamic countries.
"The Satanic Verses" has been banned in his native land, other Moslem countries and South Africa.
Rushdie followed his parents to Pakistan after college and landed a job in Pakistan's fledgling television service. But he said he encountered political and religious prejudice there and returned to England, scratching a living as an advertising copywriter. He is now a British citizen.
His first book, "Grimus" published in 1975, raised little interest.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Salman Rushdie's novel, "The Satanic Verses," published last year, has sparked worldwide controversy, from violent protests to calls by Islamic leaders for the author's death. Today, on this page, we have four related stories about Rushdie and his book:
- A profile of Salman Rushdie.
- A brief history of book-burning.
- Excerpts from "The Satanic Verses."
- A look at reaction in the publishing industry.