Salman Rushdie Reading List: Standing Up for Freedom of Expression

By NYPL Staff
August 16, 2022
Salman Rushdie wearing medal around his neck and smiling at crowd of people gathered at the Library.
Salman Rushdie at the 2017 Library Lions event.

Note: This blog post was written shortly after an attack on the writer Salman Rushdie in August, 2022. Fortunately, Mr. Rushdie not only survived, but has continued to be an outspoken advocate for freedom of speech and expression.

"Terrorism must not terrorize us. Violence must not deter us. La lutte continue. La lutta continua. The struggle goes on,"  he said in his first public comments after the attack at the PEN America 2023 Literary Gala in New York City.


August 16, 2022

We at The New York Public Library were shocked to hear about the attack on Salman Rushdie on August 12. Rushdie has always been a devoted advocate for freedom of expression, and his wide range of writings, from novels to children’s books to nonfiction essays, provide the world with invaluable insight into our shared humanity. Named a Library Lion in 2008, Salman Rushdie was honored by the Library for his commitment to exploring the depths of creative expression and freedom of thought. We continue to honor this commitment today and condemn this brutal attack not only on a celebrated writer, but on the very ideals at the core of our institution. 

For more than 125 years, The New York Public Library has championed the free exchange of ideas and open access to books, knowledge, and information. Among our highest values are the sharing of great writing, ensuring a diversity of voices and opinions can be heard, and connecting readers to stories and books that challenge, provoke, and expand their worlds. As our world grows ever more divided, it is critical that writers, like Salman Rushdie, feel safe to share their perspectives and make their voices heard.

—Tony Marx, President, The New York Public Library

Seven book covers of Salman Rushdie's books against a light blue background.

Salman Rushdie at the Library

As a long-time friend of the Library, Rushdie has been a guest at Library events to speak with authors and discuss his own works, most recently in a 2021 live-streamed talk with author Tea Obreht.

Languages of Truth: Salman Rushdie with Téa Obreht

Marlon James and Salman Rushdie on Storytelling

Salman Rushdie speaks with Marlon James about Jamaican archetypes, language, and Gay Talese. Listen now.

Salman Rushdie on The Golden House

Salman Rushdie discusses The Golden House with Paul Holdengraber. The novel follows a wealthy expat family, the Goldens, who have appeared suddenly in a historic Greenwich Village home, having fled their native country under mysterious circumstances. Listen now.