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Monday, May 21

Just Announced: Salman Rushdie to Speak at Writers on a New England Stage

Tickets on sale – June 2 to members,
June 16 to general public

Writers on a New England Stage welcomes

Salman Rushdie

The internationally acclaimed author will present his latest work
Joseph Anton: A Memoir

How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for over nine years?

Wednesday, October 10, 7:30pm

More Info/Buy Tickets

Writers on a New England Stage, the celebrated author series presented at The Music Hall with New Hampshire Public Radio in collaboration with Yankee Magazine, announced that the internationally celebrated author Salman Rushdie will take the stage on Wednesday, October 10, 2012. Mr. Rushdie will discuss his new memoir titled Joseph Anton. The book tells the extraordinary tale of Rushdie’s years driven underground by an Islamist threat death against him for his work The Satanic Verses, one of 11 novels he has published.

“Rushdie’s journey and literature is unique, and we are honored to have this international literary star in our series. Not only are his novels phenomenal, but he has a story of persecution that must be shared. I cannot wait to hear from him and to share his tale with so many,” said Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of the Music Hall and Executive Producer of Writers on a New England Stage.

About Tickets

Tickets to Writers on a New England Stage: Salman Rushdie will go on sale to Music Hall members on Saturday, June 2. Ticket sales will open to the public on Saturday, June 16. Vouchers for books signed by the author will also go on sale at that time and a purchase of one voucher for each single or pair of tickets will be required.

About the book, Joseph Anton: A Memoir

On 14 February 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been ’sentenced to death’ by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being ‘against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran’.

So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov – Joseph Anton.

How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for over nine years? How does he go on working? How does he fall in and out of love? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, how and why does he stumble, how does he learn to fight back? In this remarkable memoir Rushdie tells that story for the first time; the story of one of the crucial battles, in our time, for freedom of speech. He talks about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and of the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom.

It is a book of exceptional frankness and honesty: compelling, provocative, moving, and of vital importance. Because what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding somewhere in the world every day.

About the author,  Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of eleven novels: Grimus, Midnight’s Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown and The Enchantress of Florence, and Luka and the Fire of Life.

He is also the author of a book of stories, East, West, and three works of non-fiction – Imaginary Homelands, The Jaguar Smile, and Step Across This Line. He is the co-editor of Mirrorwork, an anthology of contemporary Indian writing, and of the 2008 Best American Short Stories anthology.

He has adapted Midnight’s Children for the stage. It was performed in London and New York by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2004, an opera based upon Haroun and the Sea of Stories was premiered by the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.

A Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature, Salman Rushdie has received, among other honours, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice), the Writers’ Guild Award, the James Tait Black Prize, the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature, Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany, the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature, the Premio Grinzane Cavour in Italy, the Crossword Book Award in India, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the London International Writers’ Award, the James Joyce award of University College Dublin, the St Louis Literary Prize, the Carl Sandburg Prize of the Chicago Public Library, and a U.S. National Arts Award. He holds honorary doctorates and fellowships at six European and six American universities, is an Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T, and University Distinguished Professor at Emory University.

He has received the Freedom of the City in Mexico City, Strasbourg and El Paso, and the Edgerton Prize of the American Civil Liberties Union. He holds the rank of Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres – France’s highest artistic honour. Between 2004 and 2006 he served as President of PEN American Center, and continues to work as Chairman of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, which he helped to create. In June 2007 he received a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2008 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a Library Lion of the New York Public Library. In addition, Midnight’s Children was named the Best of the Booker – the best winner in the award’s 40 year history – by a public vote.  His books have been translated into over forty languages.

Book Clubs and High School Guests of The Music Hall

At each Writers event, The Music Hall hosts local high school students selected by their teachers, who come free of charge to the event and get an opportunity to meet the author.  The Music Hall welcomes local book clubs attending on the night to take part in a drawing to be guests at a private backstage book signing/reception with the featured writer.  For more information on how to join the Writers on a New England Stage book club list and drawing, email Associate Producer */.  Interested high school and middle teachers can contact Programming Coordinator Chris Curtis.

Tickets and Signed Books

Tickets to Writers on a New England Stage: Salman Rushdie are $13 ($11 for members of The Music Hall and NH Public Radio).  For each 1-2 tickets sold, the purchase of a book voucher ($30) is required. Vouchers can be redeemed on the night of the event for a signed copy of Rushdie’s discussed work, Joseph Anton: A Memoir.

Tickets can be purchased at The Music Hall box office in the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth or over the phone at 603-436-2400. Tickets and vouchers are not available online for Salman Rushdie.

Tickets for Salman Rushdie go on sale to Music Hall members Saturday, June 2. Walk-up sales begin at 10am, phone sales at noon. Tickets go on sale to non-members at noon Saturday June 16.

About Writers on a New England Stage

Writers on a New England Stage was created by executive producer Patricia Lynch, also executive director of The Music Hall, and is presented with New Hampshire Public Radio in collaboration with Yankee magazine. The series’ companion bookstore is RiverRun, in Portsmouth, NH.  Since 2005, the series has spotlighted a broad range of celebrated authors including Mitch Albom, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Dan Brown, Isabel Allende, Stephen King, Ann Patchett, E.L. Doctorow, Madeleine Albright, the late John Updike, Wally Lamb, Jodi Picoult, David McCullough, and Cokie Roberts, among many others. Each author’s presentation is followed by an interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.”  Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught.  The live shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio.  Upcoming writers include:  Anna Quindlen on May 23, Joan Didion on June 19 and Chris Cleave on July 25.

Music Hall Season Sponsor:

River House

Writers on a New England Stage Series Sponsors (2012-2013)

Auger Building Company, Inc.
Calypso Communications
RMC Research Corporation
Haunted Milk Design

About The Music Hall

The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner, recently named “best performing arts venue”  by Yankee Magazine. Acclaimed signature series bring top authors and artists to both stages, while HD broadcasts and independent film fill both screens. A radio show broadcast on NH Public Radio originates here. This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor cultural organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy: The Music Hall and its patrons contribute $6.3 million annually to the local economy through show and visitor related spending. The Music Hall is 501c3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board.  Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 business supporters and 40 community partners. Welcoming more than 100,000 patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget. http://www.themusichall.org

“the beating cultural heart of New Hampshire’s seacoast” – Boston Globe

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