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UK: Salman Rushdie gets knighthood

June 16, 2007 18:24 IST

India-born internationally acclaimed author Salman Rushdie was on Saturday awarded knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who also honoured 19 other non resident Indians in recognition of their contribution to various fields.

Rushdie has been awarded for his services to Literature in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, which recognises the achievements of 19 other NRIs as well.

"I'm thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and I am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way," Rushdie said.

The litterateur, who will celebrate his 60th birthday on Tuesday, spent almost a decade in hiding following a decree by Iran's spiritual leader for his assassination after publication of his controversial book Satanic Verses.

The Booker Prize winner, who was was knighted along with former English cricketer Ian Botham, now spends much of his time in the US.

Rushdie went to school in Mumbai and at Rugby in England, and read History at King's College, Cambridge, where he joined the Cambridge Footlights Theatre company.

His second novel Midnight's Children -- published in 1981, won the Booker Prize for Fiction, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction), an Arts Council Writers' Award and the English-Speaking Union Award.

In 1993, the novel was judged to have been the Booker of Bookers, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize for Fiction in the award's 25-year history.

H S Rao in London
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