"Victory City", like a rebirth, is the new novel by British writer Salman Rushdie.

Released on Monday February 6, six months after the attack on the author, it tells the life of a woman in the 14th century, who erects a city and undergoes the threats of a patriarchal world. 

Completed before his stabbing, this novel - undoubtedly one of the most anticipated of the year - by the author of Indian origin, is presented as the translation of the historical epic of Pampa Kampana, a young orphan with of magic powers by a goddess, who will create the city of Bisnaga, literally Victory City.

The writer will not promote his 15th novel, which will be released in the United States on Tuesday and in the United Kingdom on Thursday, his agent Andrew Wylie warned in the British daily The Guardian, even if "his recovery is progressing" since the attack. which almost cost him his life on August 12th.

A young man lunged at him armed with a knife as he prepared to speak at a conference in Chautauqua, in upstate New York, near the Great Lake Erie.

Rushdie, a naturalized American who has lived in New York for 20 years, has lost the sight of one eye and the use of one hand, his agent announced in October.

The attack shocked Western countries, but was hailed by extremists in Muslim countries such as Iran and Pakistan.

Since then, the author has remained distant from the media, but has resumed speaking on the social network Twitter since last December, most often to relay the reviews of his new novel published in the press.

However, several events are planned to accompany the release of "Victory City", such as a conference broadcast on the Internet with British authors Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman. 

In the face of danger, the "power to tell stories"

Icon of freedom of expression since he lived under the influence of a fatwa for writing the book "The Satanic Verses" in 1988, Rushdie still defends the power of words in "Victory City".

With the mission of "giving women an equal place in a patriarchal world", according to the summary of its publisher Penguin Random House, its heroine and poet Pampa Kampana, who will live nearly 250 years, will also be the witness of "the pride of those in power", and will witness the rise and then the destruction of Bisnaga. 

Her legacy to the world, however, will remain her epic tale, which she buries as a message for future generations.

And the novel ends with this sentence: "words are the only winners". 

In the New York Times, American writer Colum McCann, a friend of Rushdie, claimed that the author "said something very profound in 'Victory City'".

"He says 'you can never take away from people the basic ability to tell stories'. In the face of danger, even in the face of death, he manages to say that all we have is the power to tell stories. ". 

Born in Bombay in 1947, Rushdie published his first novel 'Grimus' in 1975 and rose to world stardom six years later with 'The Midnight Children' which won him the Booker Prize in the UK.

"Victory City" will be released next September in France under its original title, its French publishing house Actes Sud told AFP.

>> To read: Like Salman Rushdie, these writers threatened with death in the world

With AFP 

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