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Salman Rushdie’s new book is out today

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Salman Rushdie’s new book is out today

“The city of victory” (Mondadori), the latest book by Salman Rushdie, the author of “Satanic Verses” (a text that cost him a fatwa, a death sentence that forced the author in exile). The text comes about six months after the assault Rushdie suffered in Chautauqua, New York, on August 12, 2022, when a man stabbed him. The author now presents his book with glasses that have a tinted lens, to conceal the serious injuries he sustained to his eye, and talks about his great difficulty getting back to writing after the episode.

The novel is a saga of love, adventure and myth, set in 14th century India. The protagonist is Pampa Kampana, orphaned since she was 9 years old, when her mother leaves her hand to throw herself into the flames, to meet her death in a stake, together with other women, after all their husbands died as soldiers in battle. This grief-stricken little girl will live 247 years and she will receive enormous powers from the Hindu goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva, of whom she is an incarnation. A gift that she will use to create an imaginary city, a fantastic kingdom of which she will be queen several times, called Bisnaga, literally “the city of victory”. A kingdom born of blood and fire in which men “started to look at women with new eyes”.

Rushdie returns to India’s origins, imagines finding the immense narrative poem on Bisnaga written in Sanskrit by Pampa, preserved in an earthenware vase sealed with wax and buried. An extraordinary story that traces the life of this prophetess and has its roots in Indian myth and tradition.

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