Award-winning and internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie’s new novel “Quichotte” is in the race to win this year’s 50,000 pound Booker Prize for Fiction.
The news of the shortlist broke on Tuesday afternoon with an announcement from the organisers of one of the leading literary awards in the English-speaking world.
“Quichotte” is published in India by Penguin Random House India, making it the only nominee by an Indian publisher in this year’s shortlist. This book is published under the Hamish Hamilton imprint in India and was simultaneously released in the UK and India on August 29.
Inspired by the classic “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, “Quichotte” is one of the most anticipated books of the year and opened to exceptional reviews from the media. It is the 14th novel from the prize-winning author, the story of an ageing travelling salesman who falls in love with a TV star and sets off to drive across America on a quest to prove himself worthy of her hand.
The tragicomic tale is one of our deranged times, and deals, along the way, with father-son relationships, sibling quarrels, racism, cyber-spies, and the end of the world.
Commenting on the nomination, Rushdie said: “It has been 19 years since ‘The Moor’s Last Sigh’ made it to the shortlist, so I’m obviously delighted. I’m also happy to be chosen, alongside such terrific writers, to be part of an interesting, strong list.”
Meru Gokhale, publisher of Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, said: “In ‘Quichotte’, Salman Rushdie has again caught the zeitgeist by writing a novel that engages hilariously and meaningfully with the absurdities of the contemporary world, taking in pop culture, TV soaps, America’s opioid crisis, giants of world literature, and much more besides.
“‘Quichotte’ offers moments of pure pleasure for every reader. We are delighted to be Salman Rushdie’s publisher, and not surprised that he is once more in line for the Booker Prize for Fiction.”
Rushdie is the author of 14 novels including “Midnight’s Children”, for which he won the Man Booker Prize, the Booker of Bookers Prize, and the Best of the Booker Prize.
He has also published one collection of short stories and four works of non-fiction, including the internationally acclaimed bestseller, “Joseph Anton”, and has co-edited two anthologies.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature. His books have been translated into over forty languages.
The other books on the shortlist:
* Margaret Atwood (Canada), “The Testaments” (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)
*Lucy Ellmann (US/UK), “Ducks, Newburyport” (Galley Beggar Press)
*Bernardine Evaristo (UK), “Girl, Woman, Other” (Hamish Hamilton)
*Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), “An Orchestra of Minorities” (Little Brown)
*Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World” (Viking)
The judges’ panel was chaired by Peter Florence, director of the Hay Festival, and consisted of former fiction publisher and editor Liz Calder; novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo; writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch; and pianist and composer Joanna MacGregor.
The winner of the Booker Prize will be announced on October 14.