Rushdie gained worldwide fame when publication of his fourth novel resulted in a condemnation to death from the hardline cleric Khomeini. Among fellow-authors, Carter and Auster were particular friends. He sought out Canetti whose attitude influenced him, and wrote admiringly to Hughes. He travelled with Chatwin in the Australian desert, and wrote a fan-letter to White (whose self-deprecating reply was misread by Rushdie as a grumpy brush-off). Said was a long-term friend with a shared interest in East-West relations. Vonnegut invited Rushdie to lunch, but later described him as burned-out (Rushdie felt like taking out a contract on him).