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Salman Rushdie
Reuters/Paul Hackett
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GOLDEN

Salman Rushdie’s new book features a “narcissistic, media-savvy villain” with colored hair

By Thu-Huong Ha

Salman Rushdie, once a known social media over-sharer, hasn’t tweeted since November, when he voted for Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election. Perhaps it’s because the normally loquacious author is gearing up to drop a verbose truth bomb.

The author of Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses will release a new book in September called The Golden House. The 368-page book will be about “a real-estate tycoon and his mysterious, powerful family,” according to the publisher’s site.

With echoes of Midnight’s Children, a book that binds its protagonist to a nation’s cultural and political upheaval, The Golden House is a bildungsroman set in the US after Barack Obama becomes president. The story follows a young American filmmaker who gets caught up in a wealthy family that has moved to New York from India in the wake of the 2008 attacks on Mumbai. (Rushdie himself was born in Mumbai. He attended English boarding school, and has lived in New York since 2000.)

The book draws on pop culture and politics over the Obama years. According to a release from US publisher Random House:

Rushdie weaves together a gripping story of life over the last eight years: the rise of the Tea Party, Gamergate and identity politics; the backlash against political correctness; and the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic, media-savvy villain sporting make-up and colored hair.

Random House says the antagonist is not Donald Trump, but that there is another minor character who resembles the US’s golden-haired president. Still, a very good analog for the former reality TV star, as seen through Rushdie-colored glasses, sounds worth reading.