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What's the Deal?

with Ali Velshi's Banned Book Club

MSBNC host Ali Velshi founded his #VelshiBannedBookClub in February 2022, in response to the increasingly widespread practice of schools and libraries prohibiting readers — especially young readers — from accessing books that adults believe would make these readers uncomfortable.

These books include such literary classics as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and  Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, contemporary tomes such as Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning and How to be an Antiracist, and illustrated children’s books, New Kid and I Am Rosa Parks. Sadly, the list is way too long to include.

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About Salman Rushdie

Like many authors whose work is featured on the #VelshiBannedBookClub, Salman Rushdie is best known for one book, but prolific beyond that title. Rushdie published The Satanic Verses in 1988. One year later, after Supreme Leader of Iran Ruhollah Khomeini called for Rushdie’s death, the author went into hiding for about one decade.

But Rushdie, 75, never stopped writing — especially his preferred genre of magical realism. To date, he has written 14 novels. He is  the Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s journalism school. On August 12, 2022, he was attacked while speaking at Chautauqua Institution in New York. He is currently recovering.

Listen

In CitizenCast

The Citizen’s podcast version of Ali Velshi’s banned book interview with Harvard professor and Salman Rushdie colleague Homi K. Bahbha.

Listen:

 

Listen: Ali Velshi Banned Book Club

Salman Rushdie's friend and colleague Homi K. Bhabha steps in to speak with MSNBC host Ali Velshi about the true meaning of the controversial book

Listen: Ali Velshi Banned Book Club

Salman Rushdie's friend and colleague Homi K. Bhabha steps in to speak with MSNBC host Ali Velshi about the true meaning of the controversial book

For this episode of #VelshiBannedBookClub, Citizen Board Member and MSNBC host Ali Velshi was supposed to speak with Salman Rushdie about his “most famous book you’ve never read.” However, in the wake of the assassination attempt on the author, Ali speaks with Rushdie’s friend and colleague, Homi K. Bhabha, humanities professor at Harvard University.

Bhabha says the point of The Satanic Verses is often mistaken for the issue it awoke: freedom of speech. Instead, he says, “Fundamentally, the novel is about the right to change — for migrants to have the right to change, to transform their lives.”

“What [Rushdie] was trying to do was to place a religious text in the context of migrants who had moved from their own faith and were trying to recreate a sense of what it was like to live with their beliefs in a very different moment, in a very different cultural milieu.”

Listen to the interview below:

Velshi and Bhabha Discuss The Satanic Verses:

Velshi on banned books on MSNBC:

MORE ON BOOKS FROM THE CITIZEN

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