‘Satanic Verses’ Author Salman Rushdie to Publish Next Book on Substack

Author Salman Rushdie
Hannelore Foerster /Getty

Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author of Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses has said he will publish his next novel in serialized format on Substack, the online subscription newsletter service.

The author revealed his unconventional publishing plan in an interview with the Guardian:

“I got very attracted to the idea recently, in this strange year and a half, of trying out things I’ve never done before,” he says.

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“This project” is Substack and came about after the newsletter platform wrote to Rushdie’s literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who asked him if it was something he wanted to do.

He wasn’t sure, but the platform, which is best known for attracting big name journalists, has recently been courting fiction writers. Patti Smith is publishing on it and so is the Israeli writer Etgar Keret.

“I’ve been looking at [Keret’s] Substack and it’s so witty and enjoyable, and he’s clearly having a wonderful time doing it, I thought, ‘maybe I could do that’.”

Rushdie was the subject of international attention in the 1990s after he became the target of a fatwā calling for his assassination, issued by the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1989, over The Satanic Verses’ commentary on Islam. The book was also banned in India for alleged “hate speech” against Muslims.

Substack has led to a growing number of high-profile journalists, notably Glenn Greenwald, abandoning traditional publishing in favor of the Substack model, which allows them to earn a living directly from their readers without any editors (beyond Substack itself — which does have a “hate speech” policy) overseeing their content. It has led to a growing alarm from the establishment media, which likely fears it will further undermine their waning power over national and international narratives.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

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