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Highlights- Salman Rushdie, NAMA XII

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Salman Rushdie to speak

Author Salman Rushdie will present a free lecture on “The Role of the Writer in the 21st Century” at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Fayetteville Town Center.

Rushdie was condemned to death in 1989 by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who called on Muslims to execute Rushdie for insulting Islam and the prophet Mohammed in his novel “The Satanic Verses.” Rushdie went into hiding in England for much of the next decade, reemerging into public life during the last seven years.

His second novel, “Midnight’s Children,” won the Booker prize and was an international best seller. He has published several novels, books of essays and nonfiction as well as a children’s book and now lives in New York. His most recent novel is “Shalimar the Clown.”

Rushdie’s visit is part of the University of Arkansas’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

Music, music, music

It’s a big week for music. The Northwest Arkansas Music Awards are tonight (see the program in this issue), which honors all Northwest Arkansas musicians and is a benefit for the Northwest Arkansas Free Health and Dental Clinic. The awards begin at 8 p.m. at the Dickson Theater, but if you’re on Dickson Street around 6:30 or 7, you’ll see the stars arriving by limo for a private reception and being interviewed on the red carpet. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Friday night there will be a benefit at the Green Door for musician David Johnson, who is overcoming some medical problems, so go out and lend a hand and enjoy some musical jams. Also on Friday night Starroy will be holding a CD release party for their new CD “Ocho for Willow” at George’s. It’s been a while since the psychedelic rock band from Jonesboro has played NWA, so check them out.

Saturday night, two top-of-the-class singer songwriters, Ronny Cox and Jack Williams, will play GoodFolk. Getting to hear two performers of this caliber doesn’t happen often, so save the date. Ronny Cox may be best known as an actor. His first film was Deliverance and since then he’s appeared in a number of films and television shows, including Desperate Housewives. He also filled the seat of the captain for two episodes on the Starship Enterprise. And, he’s a darn good songwriter and performer as well. South Carolina musician Jack Williams, who is now calls Northwest Arkansas home, has been hailed as one of the best singer songwriters and storytellers working today. He’s the Frank Sinatra of folk. You can catch Williams on May 16 on AETN’s “Front Row” program—find out about be part of the live audience when the show is taped on April 26 in Conway by visiting aetn.org. Williams will also be teaming up with Still on the Hill to conduct a three-day music workshop at Wattle Hollow Retreat south of Fayetteville May 4-6. For information on the workshop visit wattlehollow.com. For tickets to the Saturday night show at GoodFolk call 521-1812.

Monday night hard rock bruisers Broken Teeth will hit Tony C’s Off Dickson. If you’re an AC/DC fan, this band’s for you. Open wide and consider yourself warned.

Topping off the tasty menu of live music this week is a singer songwriter double bill at the Dickson Theater on Tuesday night, that’s not to miss. Coming to town will be David Bazan who has retired his Pedro the Lion project to do a solo gig and Will Johnson of the still kicking Centro-Matic. These are more guys riding the wave of the next big thing, so catch ‘em now. This is another one of those shows that makes us sit back and wonder how Fayetteville can score acts like these. Case in point: Bazan is headed to the east coast from here and before he goes back home to Seattle, he will be playing the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco.

A bit of history and writers reading

If you’re thinking about being outdoors this weekend, plan a short trip to one of the most beautiful downtowns in NWA—Siloam Springs. This Saturday several of the town’s historic homes will be open for tours. The tour is a benefit for the Siloam Springs Museum. The museum is currently featuring an exhibit “Carl’s Addition: History and Architecture” about some of the homes. Carl’s Addition is one of three Siloam Springs National Register Historic Districts. Call 524-4011 for details.

The Northwest Arkansas Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, will host “An Evening with Writers” at 7 p.m. Friday at Giffels Auditorium in Old Main on the UA campus. Featured readers will be Margaret Bolsterli, Thomas Cochran and Samuel Totten. There will also be readings by emerging writers who have attended the UA Summer Invitational Institute that is directed by Totten. Bolsterli is the author of “Born in the Delta: Reflections on the Making of a Southern White Sensibility” a story about coming of age in the south in the 1930s and 1940s. Cochran’s first novel, Roughnecks, is set in Louisiana and is about the passion surrounding high school football.  Totten will read from his book, “Genocide in Darfur: Investigating the Atrocities in the Sudan,” which is an insiders view of the State Department Documentation Project in Darfur. A free event.

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