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Sir Salman Rushdie

East Carolina University soon will welcome to campus Sir Salman Rushdie, distinguished writer in residence at Emory University, who will deliver the Premier Lecture of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series.

“Public Events, Private Lives: Literature and Politics in the Modern World,” begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 5, in ECU’s Wright Auditorium.

Rushdie is one of the world’s most engaged and outspoken intellectuals and a fervent advocate for freedom of expression. He holds honorary doctorates and fellowships at six European and six American universities, is Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University. He has received the Edgerton Prize of the American Civil Liberties Union and holds the rank of Commandeur de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Letters – France’s highest artistic honor.

A Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature, Rushdie has received many additional honors and awards, including the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice); the Writers’ Guild Award; the James Tait Black Prize; the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature; Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany; the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger; the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature; the Premio Grinzane Cavour in Italy; the Hutch Crossword Book Award in India; the Austrian State Prize for European Literature; the London International Writers’ Award; and the James Joyce Award from University College Dublin.

Rushdie has authored 10 novels, including “The Satanic Verses;”Grimus;”Midnight’s Children;” “Shame;” “Haroun and the Sea of Stories;” “The Moor’s Last Sigh;” “The Ground Beneath Her Feet;” “Fury;” “Shalimar the Clown;”and “The Enchantress of Florence.”

His works have been translated into more than 40 languages. A stage adaptation of “Midnight’s Children” was performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and in New York. In 2004, the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center premiered an opera based on “Haroun and the Sea of Stories.” Films are currently in production for “Midnight's Children” and “Haroun and the Sea of Stories.”

The Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series, sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, advances the spirit of exploration and discovery that is the hallmark of the liberal arts. Since its inception, it has featured speakers of international renown addressing compelling issues facing humanity.

“This series has become the premier intellectual event for students and faculty of ECU and the citizens of eastern North Carolina. It is a showcase for the quality of academic life at ECU,” said Dr. Alan R. White, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “Past speakers, including anthropologist Richard Leakey, journalist Walter Isaacson, activist Gloria Steinem and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, have shared their unique perspectives and provided insight into important issues in today’s society. This season’s lineup is sure to be as equally stimulating.”

Rushdie is the most prominent speaker visiting ECU during the 2011-12 season. Additional lecturers will address topics on diversity, contemporary Black theology and history, and the cultural and ecological treasures of eastern North Carolina.

One complimentary ticket for the Premier Lecture is available to ECU students, faculty and staff members with a valid ECU ID. Tickets are $10 for the general public. For tickets, call the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

The lecture series is made possible through contributions from Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, various university organizations, and many friends and supporters. To make a contribution, or for additional information, contact director of the lecture series Dr. John A. Tucker at 252-328-1028 or tuckerjo@ecu.edu, or visit the series’ Web site at www.ecu.edu/voyages.