Salman Rushdie

Indian-born author Salman Rushdie was building a solid literary reputation in the 1980s. His novels won several prestigious awards.

But it was his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, that earned him not accolades, but I death sentence, pronounced by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Rushdie spent the next several years essentially in hiding, with constant death threats hanging over him.

Gradually, however, he re-emerged in public, and by 2002 was again going on author tours. That’s when I first met him, as we talked about his non-fiction book Step Across This Line.

So here now from 2002 Salman Rushdie.

Salman Rushdie is 76 now/.

One year ago this weekend Rushdie was attacked on stage at a lecture in New York. He was seriously injured. His attacker was arrested and charged with attempted murder. The government of Iran has denied any involvement.

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Betty Mahmoody

Happy Mothers Day weekend to all the moms listening right now.

Today, the story of one exceptionally courageous mom.

Her name is Betty Mahmoody. In the mid-1980s she accompanied her her iranian-born husband back to his native country for what she thought would be a two-week vacation.

But instead of returning to the US, her husband informed her that they would be living permanently in Iran. And that was just the beginning of the ordeal for her and the couple’s four-year-old daughter Mahtob.

Betty Mahmoody tells the story of what happened over the next 18 months in her best-selling book Not Without My Daughter. Her book was later made into a major Motion Picture starring Sally Field as Betty Mahmoody.

So here now, from 1988, Betty Mahmoody…

Betty Mahmoody will be 76 next month. She is President and co-founder of One World: For Children.

Her daughter In 2015, Mahtob Mahmoody wrote her own book about her and her mother’s escape from Iran.

Bruce Laingen

In early November 1979, a group of students and militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking everyone inside hostage, including the chargé d’affaires, a career diplomat named Bruce Laingen.

The militants were demanding the return of the exiled Shah of Iran, who was undergoing medical treatment in the U.S.

But diplomatic and even military efforts to free the hostages failed, and they ended up being held in Iran for 444 days. It was only on Inauguration Day 1981 that the hostages were ultimately freed.

Years later, Bruce Laingen wrote a book, based on a journal he’d kept while in captivity. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1992, Bruce Langan.

Bruce Laingen died in 2019, at age 96.


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