ʻOihana Hale Waihona Puke Aupuni o ka Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi
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The Hawaii literary community and local advocates of free expression are rallying in solidarity with Salman Rushdie and will hold an outdoor event of readings from Rushdie’s acclaimed works on the steps of the Hawaii State Library on Saturday, October 8th at 1 p.m. The public is invited to come and listen.
Organized by Maui novelist Alexander Maksik in association with PEN America (the free expression advocacy group of which Rushdie served as president), Hawaii Book and Music Festival, the Hawaii State Library, Hawaii Public Radio and University of Hawaii Better Tomorrow Speakers Series, the writers encourage the public to “Stand With Salman: Defend the Freedom to Write.”
Selections from Rushdie’s books and writings will be read by Hawaii-based authors including Kaui Hart Hemmings, Alexander Maksik, Tyler McMahon, Donald Carreira Ching, Brandon Jones, Don Wallace, Tom Gammarino, Jaimie Nagle, Nandi Odhiambo, and Stuart Coleman (list subject to change).
Rushdie was stabbed multiple times last month by an assailant who rushed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. He was scheduled to give a talk about the United States as a safe haven for exiled writers. He has suffered what his son has described as “life-changing” injuries and faces a long recovery.
PEN is encouraging public readings around the globe as well as online with the hashtag #StandWithSalman to remind Rushdie of both the affection that writers and readers
have for him and their solidarity with his unrelenting belief in the right of writers to create without fear of reprisal.
The celebrated author of The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children, and one the great champions of freedom of expression and the freedom to write over the last half century, Salman Rushdie was marked for death and forced into hiding for a decade by Iranian theocrats more than 30 years ago after publication of his novel The Satanic Verses, which centers on references in the Quran. Emerging from seclusion in the early 2000s, he became an advocate for imperiled writers, for free thought and open discourse, and for unfettered intellectual and creative exchange across borders—the central ideas of PEN America’s mission since 1922.
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