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Salman Rushdie, screenwriter: Getting around protestors “was like the end of ‘Argo’”

Salman Rushdie is a man at liberty.

The fatwa placed on him by Iran long since having been lifted, the novelist is trying new things, from last year's memoir "Joseph Anton" to the upcoming film adaptation of "Midnight's Children," his Booker Prize-winning novel. Rushdie wrote the script for "Midnight's Children" along with director Deepa Mehta, and also narrates the film, which is to be released May 3. But that doesn't mean he isn't still causing controversy.

The fallout from "The Satanic Verses," which brought the ire of Iran, led to a shooting delay that could have jeopardized the entire film.

"Midnight's Children" isn't even about Iran -- it takes on the story of India's history, from the moment of independence to the Partition between India and Pakistan -- an element that Rushdie claims is the book's greatest legacy, educating Indian Hindus and Pakistani Muslims about one another.

The novel is a massive tome -- and it was clearly difficult to winnow down into a film that runs 146 minutes. Rushdie, for decades a literary gadfly, says he was inspired by friends like Kazuo Ishiguro and Gunter Grass. Below, he discusses his influences, whether he'd write about Kashmir, and how the Sri Lankan president saved his film.

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