January 11, 2008 / 12:31 AM / 11 years ago

New Salman Rushdie book due in June

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new novel by author Salman Rushdie will be published in June in, publisher Random House said on Thursday.

British author Salman Rushdie talks to Reuters during an interview at his office in central London, August 31, 2005. A new novel by Rushdie will be published in June in, publisher Random House said on Thursday. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Rushdie, 60, is best known for his novel “The Satanic Verses,” which outraged many Muslims and prompted death threats that forced him to live in hiding for nine years.

His new novel, “The Enchantress of Florence,” is an historical novel set in Renaissance Florence and the court of the great Mughal Empire. It follows the tale of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world.

“This new novel marks a bold departure for Salman Rushdie in terms of setting and subject matter,” said Will Murphy, Rushdie’s editor at Random House, in a statement. Rushdie’s last novel “Shalimar the Clown” was published in 2005.

Random House, the world’s biggest book publisher, is a unit of German media group Bertelsmann.

Rushdie shot to fame in 1981 when his second novel, “Midnight’s Children,” a magical-realist exploration of Indian history, won the Booker Prize.

The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme religious leader, pronounced a fatwa, or religious edict, in 1989 that called on Muslims to kill Rushdie because of perceived blasphemy in his fourth novel, “The Satanic Verses.”

In June he was selected for a knighthood by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, again angering some Muslims in Iran and Pakistan.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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