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‘Get into a lot of different places:’ Author Salman Rushdie discusses latest novel, writing ethos 

"The Golden House" is author Salman Rushdie's new novel.
"The Golden House" is author Salman Rushdie's new novel.

Famed author Salman Rushdie, visiting St. Louis this weekend to discuss his most recent novel, “The Golden House,” says that if you want to be a good writer, “you need to get into a lot of different kinds of rooms.”

He was referencing his knowledge of and imagination with the setting of his latest novel: a secluded garden in New York only accessible by the people whose homes abut the property. 

Rushdie was inspired by Charles Dickens’ ability to write both aristocrats and thieves, something Rushdie himself does in this latest novel. That’s a result of “getting into lots of places. Finding out about lots of different kinds of lives,” Rushdie said. 

“The Golden House” has been in the works for over a decade, focusing on the story of Nero Golden, an Indian man from Rushdie’s hometown of Mumbai, and the connection between the rich, crime syndicates and jihadists. 

“I wanted to write about a big, panoramic social novel about not just New York City but America in the last decade,” Rushdie said. 


So, he uses the story of Nero Golden and his family, who arrive in the United States trying to wipe their slates clean. The novel has been compared to “The Great Gatsby,” a classic in the American canon. 

“Where the two books have something in common is the subject of reinvention of the self and the idea that Fitzgerald really wanted to capture a certain moment in American life,” Rushdie said. “That’s what I was consciously trying to do: write up against the present moment, kind of riskily.” 

Listen to the full discussion about the novel and Rushdie’s appearance in St. Louis this weekend here: 


Related Event

What: Salman Rushdie

When: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

Where: St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis MO.  

More information.

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