The Associated Press reports that Salman Rushdie, who was forced into hiding for a decade after the leader of Iran’s revolution ordered his assassination, has been made a knight. The author of THE SATANIC VERSES was on the list of honors marking Queen Elizabeth II‘s official birthday. “I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honor, and am very grateful that my work has been recognized in this way,” he said in a statement about his new OBE, given for “services to literature.”
The Guardian collects reactions from various literary luminaries. “I am delighted for him,” said fellow novelist Ian McEwan said. “He’s a wonderful writer, and this sends a firm message to the book-burners and their appeasers.” John Sutherland, academic and former Booker prize judge, suggested the award might represent a tacit olive branch from those who perhaps had failed to support Sir Salman as he might have hoped. “It’s astonishing that Tony Blair, among others, has been so reluctant to be seen shaking Rushdie’s hand, and here he is getting a knighthood from the Queen,” said the emeritus professor of literature.