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Salman Rushdie says ‘attack on books’ in Florida ‘has never been more dangerous’

By Melissa Alonso and Jackson Grigsby, CNN, Published 3:51 AM EDT, Fri May 19, 2023

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for PEN America
Honoree Salman Rushdie speaks on stage at the 2023 PEN America Literary Gala at American Museum of Natural History on May 18, 2023 in New York City.

Less than a year after an attempt on his life, author Salman Rushdie made a rare public appearance at an awards ceremony Thursday to warn of the dangers of banning books and of related movements in the US to roll back freedoms of expression.

“The attack on books, the attack on teaching, the attack on libraries, in – how can I put this – Florida, has never been more dangerous, never been more important to fight,” he said.

Rushdie spoke at the PEN America Gala in New York City, praising the literary and free speech advocacy group for its latest efforts to block politicians and local officials seeking to ban literature concerning race and gender identity.

PEN America, along with book publisher Penguin Random House and several parents and authors, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging Florida’s Escambia County school district’s removal of certain books on race and LGBTQ issues from school libraries.

Source: Salman Rushdie says ‘attack on books’ in Florida ‘has never been more dangerous’ | CNN