Sir Salman Rushdie has said he does not think his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses would be published today because of a climate of "fear and nervousness".
The writer said the banning of his book in many countries and the subsequent threats on his life had created a "long-term chilling effect".
"A book which was critical of Islam would be difficult to be published now," he told the BBC's Will Gompertz.
He said the only way to solve the issue was for publishers to "be braver".
"The only way of living in a free society is to feel that you have the right to say and do stuff," he said.
Many Muslims regard The Satanic Verses as blasphemous, and the book is still banned in India.
The 65-year-old writer lived in hiding for many years after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his execution.
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