Book saves Salman Rushdie from "wrecked" private life
By Mike Collett-White
LONDON (Reuters) - British author Salman Rushdie says writing a new novel saved him from the "wreckage" of his divorce last year from fourth wife Padma Lakshmi.
"The Enchantress of Florence," Rushdie's 10th novel, is a story of 15th and 16th century court intrigue in Florence and the Mughal capital Fatehpur Sikri which marks a return to his trademark magical realism where fact and fantasy intertwine.
"It was a good place to go at a time when my private life was in a state of wreckage, and yes it was, I suppose, a bit of a refuge," Rushdie told Reuters in an interview.
"I think in the end what got me through it was the long familiarity of the necessary discipline of writing a novel."
Rushdie, best known for his 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" which outraged Muslims and forced him into hiding after a death edict was issued by Iran's then supreme religious leader, announced the divorce in 2007, ending a three-year marriage.
"I found that in the end a lifetime's habit of just going to my desk and doing a day's work and not allowing myself not to do it is what got me back on track.
"I was derailed for a while. I was in bad shape and it brought me back to myself."
His tale of two cities centers around real-life characters like the great Mughal emperor Akbar and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli in Italy and others like the mysterious beauty Qara Koz, who enchants men wherever she goes. Continued...