Hating Salman Rushdie

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft observes that Salman Rushdie "man can unite Muslims, conservative nationalists, and the fashionable academic-intellectual left in hatred of him." Robert Farley counterobserves that Wheatcroft doesn't cite any examples of the fashionable academic-intellectual left hating Rushdie. I thought I might take a look at the Amazon page for Shalimar the Clown, which I believe is his most recent book. Rushdie fans turn out to also be heavy purchasers of Zadie Smith's On Beauty, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Memories of My Melancholy Whores, and E.L. Doctorow's The March. What's more, about two percent of the people who visit Shalimar's Amazon page actually wind up purchasing Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss. Arundhati Roy shows up on the "similar items" page.

Not to say anything against Roy or Smith or Marquez, but this is hardly salt-of-the-earth fare. Indeed, some might say that Rushdie seems to fall in with a circle of well-known literary fiction writers who are primarily admired by fashionable intellectuals.

Photo by Flickr user Whistling in the Dark used under a Creative Commons license

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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