- Titled “Victory City,” the author’s new work is due to be published on Feb. 9, 2023, by Penguin Random House.
Salman Rushdie has released excerpts of a new novel, four months after he was severely injured in a stabbing attack in upstate New York. The excerpt, titled “A Sackful of Seeds” was published online by New Yorker magazine on Dec. 5. It is from Rushdie’s 15th novel, “Victory City,” which is due to be published in early February by Penguin Random House, as reported by Agence France-Presse. The excerpt will be published in the magazine’s print edition dated Dec. 12, the AFP report added.
“Victory City” tells the “epic tale of a woman who breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries,” says a synopsis on the Penguin Random House website. The publishing house has posted praise for the book from other authors. Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of “The Hours,” calls the book “a major accomplishment by one of our greatest living writers, that “does not resemble any other novel I could name.” Hari Kunzru, author of “Red Pill,” described the book as Rushdie’s “most virtuosic,” and “a wondrous tale of medieval India which is also, as ever, a fable about the triumph of life—in all its joyous, messy excess—over the forces of fanaticism and darkness.”
The author took to Twitter on Aug. 9 to post a photo of his new book. “Here’s the US cover,” he wrote, adding that the book would be published on Feb. 9, 2023.
The 75-year-old author of the controversial “The Satanic Verses,” who for three decades lived under a death threat was stabbed three days later as he was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. It was a summer lecture series at the gated community that features arts and literary programming for nine weeks each summer.
His attacker, Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, currently incarcerated, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in the second degree, and second-degree assault, over the attack. But in an interview in The New York Post, Matar said he disliked Rushdie and praised Khomeini. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, who issued the fatwa on Rushdie died in 1989.
Rushdie underwent emergency surgery after he was stabbed several times. In October, his agent Andrew Wylie told the Spanish language newspaper, El Pais, that “Rushdie suffered three serious wounds to his neck and 15 more wounds to his chest and torso in the attack that took away sight in an eye and left a hand incapacitated,” the Associated Press reported. According to Wylie Rushdie’s wounds “were profound, but he’s [also] lost the sight of one eye … He had three serious wounds in his neck. One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso. So, it was a brutal attack.”
Last month, BBC executive Alan Yentob told The Sunday Times of London that the India-born author is “able to joke about his condition with a smile on his face.” Rushdie watched looked in from the Bodleian Library in Oxford to watch other acclaimed writers in New York, “read his work as a tribute, including excerpts from his new novel and other writings,” the New York Post reported at the time.