Salman Rushdie Has a New Book, and a Message: ‘Words Are the Only Victors’

Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris in the New York Times:

In “Victory City,” a new novel by Salman Rushdie, a gifted storyteller and poet creates a new civilization through the sheer power of her imagination. Blessed by a goddess, she lives nearly 240 years, long enough to witness the rise and fall of her empire in southern India, but her lasting legacy is an epic poem.

“All that remains is this city of words,” the poet, Pampa Kampana, writes at the end of her epic, which she buries in a pot as a message for future generations. “Words are the only victors.”

Framed as the text of a rediscovered medieval Sanskrit epic, “Victory City” is about mythmaking, storytelling and the enduring power of language. It is also a triumphant return to the literary stage for Rushdie, who has been withdrawn from public life for months, recovering from a brutal stabbing while onstage during a cultural event in New York last year.

More here.