Salman Rushdie’s latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence, brings together Florentine Italy and Mughal India, and the cultures that lie between them, in a tale that has been described as a “sumptuous mixture of history and fable.”
On Tuesday, October 6, 2009, at 6:00 p.m., the Metropolitan Museum of Art Concerts & Lectures series will present a conversation with the author and three art historians—Carmen Bambach, curator of drawings and prints, and Navina Haidar Haykel, associate curator of Islamic art, both of the Museum; and David Roxburgh, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal professor of Islamic art history at Harvard University—to explore major themes and visual imagery in his novel.
The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, her impossible journey to the far-off city of Florence, and her attempt to command her own destiny in a man’s world. It is also the story of two cities, unknown to each other, at the height of their powers.
Born in Bombay, India, Salman Rushdie is the author of ten novels. A Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he has received, among other awards, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice), the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature, Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany, the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature, the Premio Grinzane Cavour in Italy, and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, as well as the Freedom of the City in Mexico City, Strasbourg, and El Paso, and the Edgerton Prize of the American Civil Liberties Union. He holds the rank of Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest artistic honor.
From 2004 to 2006 he served as president of PEN American Center, and continues to work as president of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, which he helped create. In June 2007, he was knighted for services to literature. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages.
Tickets to the event, priced at $25, are available by calling 212-570-3949, or may be purchased online at www.metmuseum.org/tickets.