Many would consider being knighted or otherwise honored by England’s royals a dream come true. But more than 200 rebellious Brits have declined or returned the honor, refusing to hand their names and legacies over to rulers seeking to bolster their own dubious reputations. John Lennon and authors Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis are on that list.
Back when the renowned author was in hiding because of a death threat from the Ayatollah Khomeini, he felt that John le Carre was no help to his cause. “The Satanic Verses” had sparked a spat between two literary lions.
Author Salman Rushdie is once again the subject of controversy—a position the “Satanic Verses” scribe is familiar with, to say the least. The decision by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II to knight Rushdie last weekend drew criticism from Muslims who disagreed with the message of his most notorious novel, including members of Pakistan’s parliament.
Eighteen years after the publication of Salman Rushdie’s explosively controversial novel “The Satanic Verses”—which led to widespread criticism by Muslims and a death threat ordered by Ayatollah Khomeini—the Indian-born writer has been singled out for a much more desirable form of official recognition: Rushdie has been knighted by the queen of England.