WHEN i agreed to hang out with novelist salman rushdie in and around hollywood for a few hours, i would not have been surprised to find myself embroiled in a discussion about george harrison's facility for the sitar, or to be shown the very drugstore where an acid-tripping aldous huxley encountered "the doors of perception." but i did not expect to get into a hilarious story about "starsky and hutch."
that's part of what i like about reading rushdie as well -- you never quite know where his work is going to swerve, but most of the time his excursions reinforce rather than undercut his literary personality. here is that piece, by the way, which is about the most fun i've had on a literary story. and i am very glad neither of us got shot, which looked for a minute like it was about to happen.
a few days ago i visited a new exhibit at the los angeles county museum of art dedicated to comics from india -- more on that in a future post. but the show made me think of rushdie and his wild mixing of ancient and pop-contemporary, especially in books like "midnight's children" (a book i read in a kind of fever it was so good) and his last novel "the enchantress of florence."
these days, i hear from his publicist, rushdie is completing a new novel and the script to a "midnight's children" film. since his books -- as he discusses in our interview -- were so profoundly effected by movies, especially bollywood and "the wizard of oz" -- this project could appealingly close the circle.