As Salman Rushdie’s most recent novel, Shalimar the Clown, appeared, Amitava Kumar (above) wrote a review that began: “Is Salman Rushdie God? That is the question people think you are asking and they try to set you right. When all you have done is ask whether Salman Rushdie is good.”
Perhaps it was this review that led Rushdie to threaten cancellation of his Vassar appearance if Kumar, who teaches at the university, was involved in his visit. Kumar had been slated to deliver Rushdie’s introduction, but was disinvited.
At his blog, Kumar acknowledges the debt he and other contemporary Indian writers in English owe to Rushdie — “It was from him that we really learned to show some attitude.” — and posts part of the remarks he’d planned to deliver.
Update: Someone who says he is, and may well be, Salman Rushdie has responded in the comments. Rushdie says it was the organizer’s decision to disinvite Kumar, but affirms that he “refused to share a stage” with him