British Fiction Focus

Regarding the Relevance of Rushdie

A staggering seven years since his last novel for adults, The Enchantress of Florence, Salman Rushdie—winner of a bunch of Booker Prizes, including the Best Of and the Booker of Bookers—is ready to re-enter the literary fiction fray with a book said to blend “history, mythology and a timeless love story to bring alive a world that has been plunged into an age of unreason.”

Based on the Arabian Nights, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is “a rich and multifaceted work [inspired by] 2,000 years of storytelling tradition yet rooted in the concerns of our present moment.”

Publishing director Dan Franklin of Jonathan Cape—which Vintage imprint plans to publish Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights this very September—said that “Salman’s new novel is one of his very best. It is fast-paced, funny, and an absolutely thrilling read, and so, so pertinent to the world in which we live.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m getting the impression that this book might be… relevant, in some sense? I don’t know. It’s terribly hard to tell…

All such silliness aside, we don’t know much about Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights to date, however we have been warned that it won’t be an epic along the lines of Midnight’s Children. “It’s not long,” Rushdie is reported to have said to attendees of his event at last year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival. “It will be something like 250 pages, which is like clearing my throat. I have finally learned how to shut up.”

As we all know, though, it’s quality that counts, not quantity. So… roll on the new Rushdie!

Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative Scotsman, Strange Horizons, and He’s been known to tweet, twoo.


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