Jonathan Cape will publish Salman Rushdie’s new Don Quixote-inspired novel, Quichotte, in August.
Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes' classic text, Quichotte tells 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. “Quichotte’s tragicomic tale is one of a deranged time, and deals, along the way, with father–son relationships, sibling quarrels, racism, the opioid crisis, cyber-spies, and the end of the world,” Cape said.
Bea Hemming, acting publishing director at the Vintage imprint, acquired UK and Commonwealth publishing rights from Andrew Wylie of the Wylie Agency. It will be published on 29th August 2019.
“We are thrilled to be publishing a new novel from one of the world’s great storytellers,” Hemming said. “Quichotte sees Salman Rushdie at the height of his powers. Intricately plotted, wildly original, tender, comic and deeply moving, Quichotte is both an ingenious homage to Cervantes and a book that speaks urgently to our unstable times.”
Rushdie has previously spoken of his enthusiasm for Cervantes’ Don Quixote, which was published in two parts in 1605 and 1615.
In January 2018 he told the Guardian of his re-reading of the text: “On the one hand, the characters of Quixote and Sancho Panza are as beautifully realised as I remember them, and the idea of a man determinedly seeing the world according to his own vision, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, feels strikingly contemporary.
“On the other hand, how many more times are the Knight of the Dolorous Countenance and Sancho going to get beaten up and left in pain in various roadside ditches? The ‘greatest novel ever written’ – I voted for it myself once – turns out to be just a little bit repetitive. To make the reading easier, I’m breaking it up and reading other books by other authors after every couple of hundred pages of Cervantes.”
Rushdie has written 13 novels including Midnight’s Children (Vintage), for which he won the Man Booker Prize and Booker of Bookers Prize, and one collection of short stories, as well as works of non-fiction including memoir Joseph Anton (Vintage). He was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.
His books have been translated into more than 40 languages and he has sold 698,600 books for £5.56m since 1998, with Midnight’s Children (1995 edition) his biggest seller, with 160,538 copies sold (all figures according to Nielsen BookScan). His last novel, a modern day thriller titled, The Golden House, was published by Cape in September 2017.