Salman Rushdie

Shalimar the Clown is Salman Rushdie's eighth novel. Published in 2005, it tells the story of a young man who seeks revenge after he's jilted by the love of his life. There's intrigue, violence, and conflict between tradition and modern society — the sort of stuff that makes for grand opera.

Now, Shalimar the Clown is just that. Adapted by composer Jack Perla and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph, the opera premieres tonight at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Rushdie says the novel sprang from one tragic image.

The author of The Satanic Verses reveals how he's moved far beyond the controversy ignited by the book's publication. Rushdie, who now spends one month a year teaching at Emory University, shares his insights on literature and the young, and the current status of fiction writing.

The Booker Prize winner entertained a packed audience at the Kimmel Center when he spoke as part of the 2007-2008 Philadelphia Speakers Series presented by Widener University, and sponsored by WRTI.