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Sunday, 3 November, 2002, 03:01 GMT
Author cancels US tour over 'profiling'
Rohinton Mistry
Mistry complained of "unbearable" humiliation
A celebrated Canadian author, Rohinton Mistry, has cancelled the second half of his US book tour because of racial profiling at US airports.


I find it outrageous. It makes me feel ashamed of my country

Betsy Burton, US bookseller
Mr Mistry - the Indian-born author short-listed for the Booker Prize this year - was "extremely unhappy" about the treatment he received, Canada's Globe and Mail reported.

"As a person of colour he was stopped repeatedly and rudely at each airport along the way - to the point where the humiliation of both he and his wife has become unbearable," a memo from the writer's US publisher Aflred A Knopf said.

The US introduced extra security measures - including fingerprinting - for people born in 20 predominantly Arab and Muslim countries following the 11 September attacks.

Last week Canada urged its citizens born in Middle Eastern and Muslim countries to think carefully before going to the US because of the new checks.

'Ashamed'

Mr Mistry - who has had three works short-listed for the Booker Prize, including "Family Matters" this year - is not Muslim and was not born in one of the countries listed by the US.

At last month's Booker Prize dinner in Britain, the writer complained to his New York publisher, Sonny Mehta, about the treatment in the US.

"He just said that he had a terrible time travelling in the US. He was really upset," Mr Mehta told the Globe.

The cancellation of the tour has upset US booksellers.

"I find it outrageous," Betsy Burton of The King's English bookstore in Salt Lake City said.

"It makes me feel ashamed of my country."

See also:

17 Oct 02 | Entertainment
10 Nov 02 | Americas
26 Jun 02 | Americas
09 Apr 02 | Americas
17 May 02 | Americas
16 May 02 | Americas
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