Monday, April 08, 2013 3:21 pm
Rushdie remembers Thatcher's `great life'
By HILLEL ITALIEAP National Writer
"She had a great life, and offered protection for me when I needed it," said Rushdie, interviewed Monday morning during a promotional tour for the film adaptation of his Booker Prize-winning novel "Midnight's Children."
Politically, he was far to the left of Thatcher and mocked her before 1989, naming one character "Mrs. Torture" in his novel "The Satanic Verses" and at times using unprintable language when referring to her. But when "The Satanic Verses" led to accusations of anti-Muslim blasphemy and to the Ayatollah's decree, Thatcher's government gave Rushdie round-the-clock supervision.
Rushdie, 65, said he met Thatcher just once, at an annual Scotland Yard gathering held for those being protected.
"She was very considerate, and, surprisingly, touchy-feely," Rushdie said. "She would tap you on the arm and say, `Everything OK?' I hadn't expected that touch of tenderness."