Friday, June 20, 2014

My hero / Salman Rushdie, winner of the 2014 PEN Pinter prize

My hero: Salman Rushdie, winner of the 2014 PEN Pinter prize, by Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser remembers when Salman Rushdie and her late husband, Harold Pinter, played crick
by Antonia Fraser
The Guardian, Friday 20 June 2014
Salmon Rushdie
From left … Salman Rushdie, West Indian fast bowler Ossie Gooding and Harold Pinter at lunch before playing cricket
Harold Pinter, my late husband, admired Salman Rushdie's work enormously, long before he met him. He thought Midnight's Children was a wonderful book (although his favourite was The Satanic Verses, which he read, incidentally, long before the troubles). We first met Salman in February 1982, at a protest outside the Polish embassy mounted by PEN in favour of Solidarity. Afterwards, we all went to the pub and a real friendship grew, which was very important to Harold.
Shortly after the fatwa was issued in 1989, Harold was honoured when Salman asked him to deliver a lecture on his behalf at the ICA, because, of course, Salman couldn't do it. It was an extremely tense occasion with masses of police, television and so on. When Harold had finished, a member of staff at the ICA drew Harold aside and took him to a call box where an undisclosed number was dialled and he spoke to Salman. He was characteristically jolly under the circumstances and said: "I know Harold, next time you write the lecture and I'll deliver it." Which Harold thought was terrifically cool.
Every summer, Harold would bring his cricket team, the Gaeities, for a match against the Guardian at Gunnersbury. We used to have a buffet lunch in our garden beforehand to encourage the team (see my photograph). Salman asked if he could come. And of course he brought two members of Special Branch with him. Later, the Guardian was short of a player, and Salman fielded for them. The ball, in its devilish way, sought him out, and every time he rose up to catch it, I saw the Special Branch duo rise to their feet as though he were under threat. Loyally, I remember Harold's team won, but I may be wrong.
This award would have meant a great deal to Harold because he respected Salman twice over: first for his work, and then for his great personal courage.

001 My hero / Oscar Wilde by Michael Holroyd
002 My hero / Harley Granville-Barker by Richard Eyre
003 My hero / Edward Goldsmith by Zac Goldsmith
004 My hero / Fridtjof Nansen by Sara Wheeler 
005 My hero / Mother Mercedes Lawler IBVM by Antonia Fraser

007 My hero / Ernest Shepard by Richard Holmes
008 My hero / JG Ballard by Will Self
009 My hero / Alan Ross by William Boyd
010 My hero / Ben the labrador by John Banville

011 My hero / Vicent van Gogh by Margaret Drabble
012 My hero / Franz Marek by Eric Hobsbawm


017 My hero / Jack Yeats by Colm Tóibín
018 My hero / Francisco Goya by Diana Athill
019 My hero / Max Stafford-Clark by Sebastian Barry
020 My hero / Arthur Holmes by Richard Fortey

036 My hero / Robert Lowell by Jonathan Raban
037 My hero / Beryl Bainbridge by Michael Holroyd
038 My hero / Charles Schulz by Jenny Colgan
039 My hero / Oliver Knussen by Adam Foulds
040 My hero / Annie Proulx by Alan Warner

041 My hero / David Lynch by Paul Murray
042 My hero / Edwin Morgan by Robert Crawford
043 My hero / Anne Lister by Emma Donoghue
044 My hero / Jane Helen Harrinson by Mary Beard
045 My hero / Edmund Burke by David Marquand
046 My hero / Shelagh Deleaney by Jeanette Winterson
047 My hero / Christopher Marlowe by Val McDermid
048 My hero / Gwen John by Anne Enright
049 My hero / Michael Mayne by Susan Hill
050 My hero / Stanley Spencer by Howard Jacobson

051 My hero / William Beveridge by Will Hutton
052 My hero / Jean McConville by Amanda Foreman
053 My hero / Alexander Pushkin by Elaine Feinstein
058 My hero / Cy Twombly by Edmund de Waal

079 My hero / Gene Wolfe by Neil Gaiman
087 My hero / Alberto Moravia by John Burnside
096 My hero / Isaac Babel by AD Miller
097 Lucian Freud by Esi Edugyan
100 Thomas Tranströmer by Robin Robertson
102 My hero / David Hockney by Susan Hill


190 My hero / Iris Murdoch by Charlotte Mendelson
194 My hero / René Descartes by James Kelman
199 My hero / Albert Camus by Geoff Dyer


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