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Security Tight As Crowd Turns Out For Author Salman Rushdie In Westport

Author Salman Rushdie signs copies of his new book Thursday night after he gave a talk at Staples High School. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Salman Rushdie takes questions from the crowd after his talk Thursday at Staples High School. The event was sponsored by the Westport Library. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
The crowd begins to filter into the Staples High auditorium under tight security Thursday night. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs

WESTPORT, Conn. — Renowned author Salman Rushdie was in the spotlight as a standing-room-only crowd filled the auditorium at Staples High School in Westport under tight security Thursday evening.

Rushdie was making an appearance as part of the Westport Library's annual Malloy Lecture in the Arts. He is currently on a book tour promoting his new novel, "Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights," which was released last month.

The site was chosen because its seating capacity is larger than is available at the library. The Westport Library said all 950 seats were reserved in less than 24 hours, with a waiting list that numbered over 800.

Rushdie spoke for about an hour from the auditorium stage, then took questions from the crowd. He later sold and signed his new book in the hallway.

Rushdie lived for years under a death threat, or fatwa, issued by the late Ayatollah Khomeini after the 1989 publication of his novel, “The Satanic Verses.” He did not make public appearances for years afterward.

Despite concerns from parents about security for the talk, it seemed to go off without a hitch.

As part of his book tour, Rushdie has spoken at libraries, colleges, bookstores, synagogues and civic venues.

According to Amazon, the new novel "blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story." Read more about the book here at the official Salman Rushdie website .

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