Salman Rushdie has had some bad luck recently when it comes to literary events. Last month, he was banned from speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India. Yet, the novelist didn’t skip a beat in agreeing to host The Lunchbox Fund‘s annual book fair and auction alongside R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe.
Rushdie and the singer will join forces to benefit the organization, which helps provide daily meals to extremely poor and at-risk school children in South Africa.
Donating time to a cause is not unfamiliar to Stipe, who in 2006 released an EP of covers of Joseph Arthur’s “In the Sun” to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Rushdie, whose book “The Satanic Verses” was once banned by the South African government, has long been an advocate for at-risk and disadvantaged youth, and has also spoken out on the issue of hunger as a supporter of the Food Bank for New York City.
This year’s event will take place on March 21st in the Big Apple. Handmade books, created in partnership with Ruth Lingen by both hosts, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mario Batali, Yoko Ono, and others will be available both at the event and as part of the online auction beginning on March 20.
For more information on The Lunchbox Fund and the event, visit www.thelunchboxfund.org.