salman said-toronto reference library

this magical night, i met two 80+ versions of myself, one of whom, once shown the shallot that i had in my pocket to give to salman rushdie, grabbed me by the scruff of my neck like a mama cat in a peach blazer with shoulder pads and thrust me at him yelling, “this young lady has something to give you!”. here are some quotes from the evening:

“now i have the story too-the time a girl wanted to give me an onion.”

“libraries are a good substitute for school”

“and like the internet likes to tell me, it doesn’t work if it’s a leap year. there’s no fucking leap year.”

“monotheistic gods, unfortunately, get virtuous, and that’s not very interesting-they’re like people, how many virtuous people do you like?”

“a lot. i’m glad you brought up that point. there’s not much else to do in fairyland but have lots and lots of sex-they don’t have books or movies, and that’s part of why they like to meddle in human affairs-we do all of these other things, and most of us don’t have very much sex at all.”

“i like the idea of talking about dreadful things, amusingly.”

“hollywood attacks new york every summer, people say it’s los angeles’ way of showing that it cares.”

“i’m sorry about the staten island ferry-no, i’m not”

“cambridge, england, the real cambridge”

“when you become a writer, the things that people like about your writing are the things that people don’t like about your writing”

bb: “donald trump wants to build a wall between the US and mexico..” sr: “who’s going to build it?” (chuckles)

“history doesn’t go on tram lines-it’s not inevitable”

“when i was studying history, i was told very wisely, not to speculate about the future”

“christopher sometimes referred to himself in the third person…as ‘the hitch'”

“i called him a pussy” bb: “do you regret that?” sr: “no. these people were executed for drawing pictures-too many of my friends were on the wrong side of history”

“the only reason you’re dying it’s him because he’s described as having big ears. the frank sinatra thing came up because i turned off the sound during a debate and mccain was like this little red man strutting about (pantomimes) and obama was so smooth, so comfortable in his body, and i thought, i like that guy.”

“thanks for giving away the ending”

“they wanted me to audition to be bette midler’s gynecologist-and i thought that was irresistible”

“gynecologist, not scientologist”

“i do shoot my mouth off about saudi arabia as much as i can-ask anyone”

“i have a longing for the day that nobody asks me that question-someone tried to kill me, one of us is dead”

“the reception of midnight’s children in india was so much more important to me than winning the booker prize”

“nobody gets everyone-that’s why there are a lot of writers”

and, so. the dividends of being adored by librarians continue to pay off. to everyone who i invited that couldn’t make it-i’m sorry, the loss was all yours.


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