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  • Published: 7 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529920864
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $24.99

Victory City

The epic tale of a woman who breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries - from the transcendent imagination of Booker Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie

She will breathe a new empire into life – but all worlds can escape their creator…

‘Full of adventure… A celebration of the power of storytelling’ GUARDIAN

In the wake of an unimportant battle between two long-forgotten kingdoms, a nine-year-old girl has a divine encounter that will change the course of history. Pampa Kampana becomes a vessel for a goddess, who tells her that she will be instrumental in the rise of a great city called Bisnaga, ‘victory city’.

Over the next two hundred and fifty years, Pampa Kampana’s life becomes deeply interwoven with Bisnaga’s as she attempts to make good on the task that the goddess set for her: to give women equal agency in a patriarchal world. But all stories have a way of getting away from their creator, and Bisnaga is no exception.

‘Mesmerising’ ELIF SHAFAK, author of The Island of Missing Trees

‘A total pleasure to read’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘One of the planet’s greatest writers’ EVENING STANDARD

‘A triumph… Enthralling’ I


  • Published: 7 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529920864
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Midnight's Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), The Satanic Verses, and Quichotte (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize). A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature and was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen's last Birthday Honours list in 2022.

Also by Salman Rushdie

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Praise for Victory City

No one, and I mean no one, can bring an entire world to life... like Salman Rushdie.

Gary Shteyngart, author of OUR COUNTRY FRIENDS

It does not resemble any other novel I could name. A major accomplishment by one of our greatest living writers.

Michael Cunningham, author of THE HOURS

This is Salman Rushdie at his most virtuosic.

Hari Kunzru, author of THE IMPRESSIONIST

Salman Rushdie is a genius and I wish he could read me a story - or a chapter of his book - every night before bed. The scale and scope of his intellect and his imagination is googolplex.

A.M. Homes, author of THE UNFOLDING

A capacious and sweeping telling in which writing about the past is a way of also staring dead on at the present.

Natasha Trethewey, author of NATIVE GUARD

It will show you the adult world in a whole new light. Only a master storyteller can do that.

Jarvis Cocker, author of GOOD POP, BAD POP

A storyteller who reminds that death may take away a lot of things, but never the power of our words.

Colum McCann, author of LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN

This sweeping, intricately crafted fairy tale is underscored by very human characters and Rushdie's signature wit.

Culture Whisper, *Books to Look Out For 2023*

A novel by a man who still, in his eighth decade, derives delight in his talent and all that he can do with it. The book is a total pleasure to read, a bright burst of colour in a grey winter season.

Sunday Times

Salman Rushdie's exuberant writing remains a source of pleasure... A vibrant, sweeping tale with a valuable message: that stories outlast tyrants and words can be the true victory.


A grand entertainment, in a tale with many strands, by an ascended master of modern legends.

Kirkus Review

A playful, magical realist epic, full of adventure and comically clashing registers, and a celebration of the power of storytelling and the endurance of literature.


Rushdie's lavish, playful 15th novel plants him firmly back on Indian soil, cooking up an alternative Mahabharata and spinning an elaborate founding myth from the bare bones of history. He's enjoying the enterprise and his sense of fun is infectious.


In its haunting, uncanny, predictive power Victory City shows once again why his work will always matter.

New York Times

Rushdie's relentless creative energy pairs well with his understanding of how history works... It's as if Rushdie has dropped a molecule of divinity into a petri dish containing the other basic stuff of life, and watched a civilization cultivate.


It's splendid that Salman Rushdie has a new novel out... Better still, it's a cracker.

Observer, *What You Should Be Reading in 2023*

Victory City has the tone of mischief Rushdie is always able to channel into his bright, fluid storytelling. Amid all the courtly intrigue and fantastic realism woven through the extensive cast of characters, fleeting dashes of wicked humour sit up and pierce the tale delectably. Rushdie's sharp, camouflaged satire speaks to everything, from religious extremism to greed to patriarchal misogyny. It all just seems to unspool from him without effort.

Irish Independent

Victory City is epic in its sweep, exploring the futility of violence, the marginalisation of women and the resilience of great art, and it is written with a winning lightness. It is a vital and revivifying addition to Rushdie's body of work and it would be no surprise to see it in contention for major prizes later this year.


An epic adventure-filled saga, you'll be intoxicated by its magic.


What of Rushdie's powers? We cannot know if they are god-given, but on the evidence of this profoundly entertaining tale... Rushdie certainly still has the gift of alchemy.

Financial Times

Victory City is a triumph - not because it exists, but because it is utterly enchanting. Words are the only victors... Victory City is a cheerful little vessel, despite its ultimate destination. Its myths of origin are recounted with glee... Rushdie plays adroitly with the metafictional and political implications of 'real' people and a 'real' polity being created out of imaginary backstories. One of the most charming of Rushdie's wonder tales.


This is a man at his full-strength, high-tar best - with his deeply humane worldview, his brilliance at set-pieces and, above all, the thrilling wildness of his imagination on irresistible display.

Reader's Digest

Victory City stands out as one of the year's literary highlights... that feels like an instant classic.

Bea Carvalho, Head of Fiction at Waterstones

Rushdie's magical style unfurls wonders.

Washington Post

The best thing Salman Rushdie has written in years... One of the richest and most exuberant books he has given us.


More than 40 years after Midnight's Children, there is still nobody who spins a yarn quite like Salman Rushdie.


There is a welcome levity to his prose here as he riffs on myth-making, culture clashes or the nature of storytelling itself.

Daily Mail

Rushdie succeeds in creating a kind of incantatory prose that befits the fabulist nature of the story... he can enchant readers like few other writers.

Literary Review

A joyous masterpiece that will remind the world that, aside from being a free speech hero, he is one of the planet's greatest writers.

Evening Standard

A wonderfully entertaining literary hybrid, an intimate epic, a serious comedy of manners.

The Times

A vigorous, enjoyable epic that hymns the enduring might of narrative over more fleeting forces.

Mail on Sunday

This latest addition to his great body of work deserves nothing but celebration and gratitude.

New Statesman

Scenes of intrigue, exile, love and murder propel fast-flowing, wittily written chapters... Sir Salman may distrust all evangelists, but in this novel he shows his faith in the liberating power of art.


Victory City is one of Rushdie's very best novels. It is also a luminous, italicised, vibrant reminder of the possibilities of free expression and of the untrammelled imagination. In this instance, the medium is indeed the message.

Tortoise Media

Victory City can, in many ways, be read as an entertaining jaunt through Indian history, though it is history through the kaleidoscopic and sweeping lens of a fairy tale... this brilliantly magical tale.

Irish Independent

Rushdie is an assured storyteller at the height of his powers, revealing once again how important India is as a fount of his imagination.


Rushdie is, above all else...one of the most powerful defenders of story we have... Victory City is a victory for Rushdie - and for every reader who enters its gates.

Harper's Bazaar

Utterly enchanting.

Eastern Eye

Rushdie's creation is vivid, compelling, and entirely his own.

Daily Mirror

Rushdie's return to magic, myth, and India's ancient stories is dazzling. With mercurial prose and vivid renderings, Rushdie never loses us in Victory City's convolutions, but instead builds our trust to travail the many grand events of Pampa's imagined empire.


A rich, dramatic saga... The many moments of comedy...show Salman Rushdie's storytelling skills and his endearing sense of playfulness... the main feeling the reader gets is of a storyteller enjoying himself.

Tablet, *Novel of the Week*

Rushdie's Victory City is another fabulous novel set in his native India... He's a master who never forgets that the main goal of a storyteller is to entertain rather than educate or pontificate.

New York Journal of Books

With its carousel of shifting politics and history, Victory City is Rushdie's most textured and triumphant wonder tale yet.


Rushdie is an expert at mixology; he's the DJ Shadow of text with references and allusions to high and low culture from Finnegans Wake to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon... a well-told tale that gets bums on seats.


There's a magical thread of storytelling running through the veins of each character we meet in this book... a joy to read.

UK Press Syndication

A work of great imagination... In Victory City the power of the written word and of the storyteller remain triumphant.


One of the richest and most exuberant books Salman Rushdie has written in years... remarkable.

Scotsman, *Summer Reads of 2023*

An impassioned plea for pluralism and a testament to the endurance of words.

Financial Times, *Summer Reads of 2023*

A joyfully extravagant alternative Mahabharata... a mashup of myth and fairytale, comedy and melodrama, celebrating women's agency and the enduring power of storytelling.

Guardian, *Summer Reads of 2023*

Victory City is full of life and colour, and some of Rushdie's key themes: female strength, the importance of storytelling, the danger of censorship.

Sunday Times, *Summer Reads of 2023*

Swiftly paced, unfussily structured, and in fluent and spirited prose, it racks the history of a magical city created by a demi-goddess.

Daily Telegraph, *Summer Reads of 2023*

Mesmerising and soul-stirring. Victory City is an epic tribute to the power of words as well as the resilience of women. Rushdie is without a peer in proving that literature soars above tyranny and bigotry, and imagination roars louder than censorship

Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Missing Trees

Rushdie’s sheer love of fiction is irrepressible.

Daily Telegraph, *Books of the Year*

A wonderfully entertaining literary hybrid.

The Times, *Books of the Year*

Victory City is Salman Rushdie at his imaginative best… sweeping the reader on a journey that feels epic in a mere 320 pages.

i, *Books of the Year*

Rushdie is as impressive as ever at such traditional literary satisfactions as beautiful pacing and vivid, unforgettable characters

Reader's Digest, *Books of the Year*