At Hay today Salman Rushdie reportedly nailed his flag firmly to the mast of speculative fiction. As reported in The Guardian, his new novel, The Enchantress of Florence, “is filled with bad faeries, imaginary dragons, ogres, sorcerers, witches, an imaginary queen, hexes, and love potions.” Today at Hay he had to defend his decision to write what many of his audience will have dismissed as fluffy fantasy nonsense.
“We all began as readers with a very fond relationship with the imagination,” Rushdie told interviewer Mariella Frostrup. “But what happens as we grow up is we begin to think of that as childish. I’ve never thought that.”
And what’s more, he has support. John Sutherland apparently loves the book and is pimping it for the Booker, and you can’t get much higher up the British critics tree than him. This is all very promising.
And you know what, the book is eligible for the World Fantasy Award next year. Would I love to see Rushdie at our little convention in San José. You betcha!
Given that this is Rushdie we are talking about, I suspect that his book will be available even here in Darkest Somerset. I shall be looking out for a copy. There may even be a review.