Belfast Telegraph

How Salman Rushdie can identify with Ulster

By Jane Graham

Some of us worried that an hour with Salman Rushdie at the Edinburgh Book Festival might mean an hour of being told by Salman Rushdie how Salman Rushdie became Britain's greatest living writer.

We were wrong, and spent around 59 minutes feeling ashamed of our cynical selves as the man who spent a decade in hiding under threats of death, regaled us with tales of comical capers during the Fatwa, hints of Bill Clinton's range of ‘very close friendships’ and some observational nuggets.

Most notably, Rushdie suggested that while identity was once made up of things we love and cherish (home, family, work, passions) it has increasingly been defined by the things we hate; rivals, oppressors, tribal enemies and even elements of popular culture which irritate us. Food for thought for all of us, and especially pertinent in today's Northern Ireland.

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