In a tour-de-force that is both an homage to an immortal work of literature and a modern masterpiece about the quest for love and family, Booker Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie has created a dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age.
Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam Du Champ, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, an ageing travelling salesman who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his imaginary son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand. Meanwhile his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.
Woven into Rushdie’s expansive landscape are intriguing characters that inhabit his dizzyingly multidimensional world. Yet, their delusions, desires and aspirations strike a chord as they transcend into the reader’s psyche.
Find out how the characters from Quichotte reflect our own struggles-
Straddling a narrow bridge built over the chasm of race and nationality, Sam Du Champs’ name is as splintered as his identity. His sepia toned memories of Warden Road, Mumbai, where he lived surrounded by the eclectic intelligentsia of the time, filter through the tattered fabric of his existence as a writer within this tale. Will his fortune change?
‘He wasn’t widely known, a situation that was unlikely to be altered by the Quichotte book, if he ever managed to get it written and published. Sam DuChamp, Author of the Five Eyes series, unacclaimed, un- famous, un- rich: when people did ask for a title of his in a store, they pronounced the pen name wrongly, calling him Sam the Sham…’
Driving dangerously on the road in search of the elusive joys of love, Quichotte maps the journey of an immigrant and a yearning father. Perched precariously on the edge of surrealism, will he fall into the abyss?
‘Welcome, my future son!’ he enthused. ‘Welcome to the present. We will woo your mother together. How can she resist being wooed not only by the future father of her children, but by one of those children too?’
Born as the shadow of the long lost son of Quichotte’s creator, Sancho miraculously materialises into his physical form. Will his tenuous bond with his father survive the journey they embark on?
‘I’m a teenager imagined by a seventy- year- old man. I guess I have to call him Dad. But here’s the thing. How am I supposed to feel properly what’s the word. Filial. When we just met.’
Miss Salma R
Far from the reach of her admiring salesman, Salma shimmers in the glitz and glamour of her life as a TV star. Will the dark shadows of her early years stall her attempts to fly higher?
‘Maybe her spirit was more adventurous than she knew. Maybe there was something in her that wanted to test itself against the challenges of a wider world. Maybe she doubted her own worth and would not be able to think of herself as valuable if she did not pick up this gauntlet. Maybe she really was a gambler at heart and this was her spinning wheel.’
Left behind in the forgotten corners of her parental home while her only sibling charts his course in the world, Sister is a storm gathering force. Will she find her way back to ‘Brother’ or is his inherited name an ironical reminder of their broken relationship?
‘Feeling (quite rightly) like the less- loved child, she saw Brother (quite rightly) as the unjustly favoured son, and her rage at her parents expanded like an exploding star to engulf her sibling as well. The rift deepened and by now had lasted a lifetime.’
Teeming with life and energy, these vividly etched characters ride waves that take them out into the unknown. Find out what turn their lives take. Shortlisted for The Booker Prize 2019, Quichotte is a must read!