(AFP) After being stabbed six months ago, Salman Rushdie publishes Tuesday his latest novel in Britain. “Victory City”Anonymous “epic tale”A 14th century woman challenges patriarchal society to run a city.
Written before the US knife attack that nearly took the Indian-born author’s life, the novel purports to be a translation of a historical epic originally written in Sanskrit.
Much-anticipated story tells of Pampa Kampana, an orphan girl who, after being endowed with magical powers by a Goddess, finds the city of Bisnaga (which translates into Victory City).
Rushdie (75) will not be promoting his 15th book due to his health condition. However, Andrew Wylie, his agent, told The Guardian that his “recovery is progressing”.
As he prepared to address a Chautauqua conference, upstate New York near Lake Erie on August 12, he was subject to attack.
The author had lived in hiding for years after Iran’s first supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered his killing for what he deemed the blasphemous nature of “The Satanic Verses”.
Hadi Matear, a New Jersey native who had roots in Lebanon and was 24-years-old at the time of the stabbing, was taken into custody immediately. He later pleaded not guilty.
Words ‘the only victors’
Wylie announced in October that Rushdie (a naturalized American citizen, who had lived in New York City for over 20 years) lost sight in his right eye, as well as the ability to use one hand.
This attack was shocking for the West, but it was welcomed by Islamists such as Iran or Pakistan.
Rushdie, while not actively promoting his book, has started to use social networking Twitter to communicate, mostly to share reviews from the press.
A number of events will also be held to celebrate its publication, including an online conference featuring Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood.
Rushdie, who was forced into hiding by the fatwa which restricted his speech rights and became an icon for free expression, is still a vocal defender of the power to speak out about the importance of words.
He is now following a hero on a mission. “give women equal agency in a patriarchal world”, according to publisher Penguin Random House’s summary.
The book tells the tale of Pampa Kampana’s creation of a city and of its downfall.
“Over the next 250 years, Pampa Kampana’s life becomes deeply interwoven with Bisnaga’s, from its literal sowing from a bag of magic seeds to its tragic ruination in the most human of ways: the hubris of those in power,”It was added.
The conclusion of the novel is made with this statement: “Words are the only victors”.
Colum McCann, a US writer wrote in The New York Times about Rushdie. “something quite profound”Victory City
“He’s saying, ‘You will never take the fundamental act of storytelling away from people.’
“In the face of danger, even in the face of death, he manages to say that storytelling is one currency we all have.”
The Atlantic magazine called it a “triumph — not because it exists, but because it is utterly enchanting.
“When you think about it, Rushdie’s novels are a miracle,”It was added.
Born in Mumbai in 1947, Rushdie published his first novel “Grimus”Six years later, he gained international fame in 1975. “Midnight’s Children”He was awarded the Booker Prize in Great Britain for this work.
“Victory City”The US will release the report on Tuesday, and the UK the report on Thursday.
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