Writer Salman Rushdie's Life on the Run Leaves His Marriage to Marianne Wiggins on the Rocks
updated 09/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Wiggins, 41, who was born in Lancaster, Pa., met Rushdie, 42, an Indian-born Muslim, in 1986. They were married in January 1988 and, though there were rumors of professional jealousies on both sides, they were apparently content long enough to dedicate books to each other during the past year. Wiggins's novel John Dollar was inscribed "To my beloved Salman"; The Satanic Verses, simply "For Marianne."
The couple's lives turned to nightmare soon after Verses was published in Britain in September 1988. Muslims around the world protested, and Khomeini handed down Rushdie's death sentence on Feb. 14. Rushdie and Wiggins went into hiding. John Dollar had just been published and, according to the London Daily Telegraph, Wiggins was "upset that she was unable to publicize her book personally because of the death threat."
In an interview with the London Sunday Telegraph this summer, Wiggins spoke of the hardships of life on the run. She and Rushdie, she said, had slept in 56 different beds in four months. She also said, "I am married to him, and what I needed to do was to be with him and to make his life go forward."
That interview appeared July 30. If the statement from her publisher is accurate, Marianne Wiggins and Salman Rushdie had already gone their separate ways.