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Rushdie claims new record for book signings

India-born author Salman Rushdie claims to have set a new record by signing 1,000 books in 57 minutes during a recent promotion tour, setting off a spat with the writer whom he surpassed.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2008 16:35 IST

Controversial India-born author Salman Rushdie claims to have set a new record by signing 1,000 books in 57 minutes during a recent promotion tour, setting off a spat with the writer whom he surpassed.

In a letter to The Guardian, Rushdie, who last week won the 'Best of Bookers' award, said that he had broken wine writer Malcolm Gluck's record for book signings.

Gluck's claimed his record is 1,001 copies in 59 minutes, set at a wine warehouse in London in 1998.

"His record is toast," Rushdie crowed, in a letter to the newspaper.

Rushdie was on a tour in the US to promote his latest book The Enchantress of Florence.

The Guardian said that it was Gluck who started the controversy, questioning whether Rushdie could possibly have signed as many books as he had claimed, or whether he had just scribbled his initials.

Rushdie said he had signed 1,000 copies, on his recent in a books warehouse in Nashville, US, in 57 minutes.

Rushdie insisted: "Let me be clear: I did not initial the books, but signed my full name.

"I did have the support of experienced staff at Ingrams book distributors in Nashville, (and at many other US bookstores), who will confirm that among the fastest present-day signers of books are President Jimmy Carter, the novelist Amy Tan, and myself," he said.

Gluck responded: "Well, if that's true, I'm humbled. I'm delighted to learn of Salman's achievement.

"I think it's very funny actually.... I doubt there will be any women going for this record, this is just such a male thing."