I feel I have been damaged as a writer by the way people perceive my work as part of a political event. It is seen as a political entity rather than an artistic one. When Midnight's Children and Shame were published, people responded quite differently to my writing. Then there was a real shift in tone, when they said: ‘Oh that was what he was really trying to do!' That is one of the pleasurable things about this new book: the storyteller is not me. I am still a fiction writer underneath all that mess.Salman Rushdie gives an exclusive interview to the Times in the wake of the publication of his latest novel The Enchantress of Florence. He talks to Kate Muir about how he got over a shyness for writing about sex; the challenges of writing in a post-September 11, post-Iraq war world; and his move away from what New Yorker critic James Wood has described as his “hysterical realism”.
The novel is out this month.