With clock ticking, Rushdie makes careful choices

Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:05am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Author Salman Rushdie says time is running out, so with only a handful of books left in him he is choosing his subjects carefully.

Having just published his 10th novel, "The Enchantress of Florence," the 60-year-old plans to write a children's story next to keep a promise he made to his younger son Milan.

"I promised my younger son, who is just coming up to 11, that I would write another book for younger readers, because he read 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories' not so long ago and was very fond it," Rushdie told Reuters in a recent interview.

"But he's also well aware of the fact that it's written for his older brother, so he's now begun to say 'Where's my book?' and there's no answer to that except to write it. I had to do a deal with him to be allowed to write this book (Enchantress)."

Rushdie typically takes three to five years to write a book.

"You think 'How many more have I got?' And so the question of which ones ... becomes unusually important when you are no longer immortal.

"When you are 25 you think you can do anything, loads of time, and now there isn't loads of time. Fortunately, I think one of the things you get better at as a writer as you get older is subject selection."

Another advantage of advancing years and a focused mind, Rushdie believes, is that criticism becomes easier to bear.   Continued...