In Quichotte, his 14th novel, Salman Rushdie reimagines Cervantes’ The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, one of the most influential literary works in history. Building on Cervantes’ approach to Quixote, which critiqued the bestselling media of his time—the chivalric romance novel—Rushdie’s Quichotte is a meta-satire of contemporary addictions, from opioids to TV personalities. Set in Donald Trump’s America, Narendra Modi’s India and Brexit Britain, the Booker-shortlisted Quichotte follows a traveling pharmaceutical-product salesman who has watched so much TV that he believes he must marry a Bollywood star turned daytime talk show host. He has conjured a son, Sancho, with whom he ventures through a magical and vicious nation to prove himself worthy of her love. But as Quichotte sets off, Rushdie reveals that this narrative is a novel within the novel—another degree to which the reader is removed from reality in a comment on our increasingly unreal times.
Buy now: Quichotte