Monday, April 07, 2008

Write to survive

This sounds familiar:
According to Rushdie, the irony is that not only did she not inspire the book, she was very nearly the cause of its demise. 'To put it bluntly,' he says, 'I had to write it in spite of her. Because what happened to me last year when I was writing this book was a colossal calamity.' By this he means the end of his marriage. In January of 2007, Lakshmi asked for a divorce.

'It was like a nuclear bomb dropped in your living room when you're trying to work,' he says. 'I really feared for a time at the beginning of last year that I'd lost the book. I was in such a state of turmoil that I couldn't work. I've always prided myself on my discipline as a writer. I do it like a job. I get up in the morning and go to my desk. And I got scared because I thought, if I lose this, I've lost everything. Genuinely, I think it was the biggest act of will that I've ever been asked to make, including after the fatwa, just to pull my head back together.'

...He says there was a period, after Lakshmi left him, that he worked eight or nine hours a day for six weeks and produced 'about three pages'. But at the end of this block, he refound the story. 'And from then the book saved my life really. It just wrote itself. Voom. I would go to my desk every day and I was having more fun in there than I was having outside. It became joyful to write and I think some of that feeling of pleasure is there in the text.'
Tantalizing tidbit at the end: a sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories is on its way...

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