When Scott Hutchins was a teenager in Arkansas, his neighbors were terrified of Satanic cults. So, like a bookish young rebel, he picked up Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. He was expecting to find himself in sympathy with some Satanists — but instead of encountering demons, he confronted literary complexity for the first time.
Image: illustration for Paradise Lost by Gustave Doré. Public domain.

When Scott Hutchins was a teenager in Arkansas, his neighbors were terrified of Satanic cults. So, like a bookish young rebel, he picked up Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. He was expecting to find himself in sympathy with some Satanists — but instead of encountering demons, he confronted literary complexity for the first time.

Image: illustration for Paradise Lost by Gustave Doré. Public domain.

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