COLUMBIA — Salman Rushdie has already checked  "write a U2 song" and "make an Iranian hit list" off his bucket list.  

In April, he will check  off "a visit to Columbia" as well.

Rushdie, a world-renowned author with more literary awards than the 12 novels he's written, will be the keynote speaker this April at the second Unbound Book Festival — an event created by local author Alex George. The Unbound Book Festival invites novelists to discuss their work and participate in other literary events.

Admission to the festival on the Stephens College campus is free to the public.  

Rushdie's fame goes beyond the quality of his work. His 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" caught the attention of Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a death threat against Rushdie and his publishers because of the book's portrayal of Islam.  

The threat of violence caused Rushdie to live in hiding under police protection for years.

Able to move freely now, Rushdie has continued to write, even penning the words to "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," a U2 song the band wrote with lyrics from Rushdie's novel of the same name.

Lisa LoPorto ,who works at Barnes and Noble, will be selling books at Unbound Book Festival alongside other vendors.  

LoPorto said to host Rushdie in April is a huge deal, and that last year's enthusiasm should be exceeded this year.

"It was so well-done. Stephens College is absolutely beautiful," LoPorto said. "There were so many good panel discussions."

Joining Rushdie in the literary discussion at the festival are authors Peter Geye, Julie Barton, Candice Millard, Ishmael Beah, Caroline Leavitt and Marie Howe.  

Unbound Book Festival will take place April 21-22, 2017. More information can be found on the festival's website.  

Supervising editor is Natalia Alamdari. 

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