(From the publisher):
In the wake of an unimportant battle between two long-forgotten kingdoms in fourteenth-century southern India, a nine-year-old girl has a divine encounter that will change the course of history. After witnessing the death of her mother, the grief-stricken Pampa Kampana becomes a vessel for a goddess, who begins to speak out of the girl’s mouth. Granting her powers beyond Pampa Kampana’s comprehension, the goddess tells her that she will be instrumental in the rise of a great city called Bisnaga—“victory city”—the wonder of the world.
Over the next 250 years, Pampa Kampana’s life becomes deeply interwoven with Bisnaga’s, from its literal sowing from a bag of magic seeds to its tragic ruination in the most human of ways: the hubris of those in power. Whispering Bisnaga and its citizens into existence, Pampa Kampana 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. As years pass, rulers come and go, battles are won and lost, and allegiances shift, the very fabric of Bisnaga becomes an ever more complex tapestry—with Pampa Kampana at its center.
Brilliantly styled as a translation of an ancient epic, Victory City is a saga of love, adventure, and myth that is in itself a testament to the power of storytelling.
Praise for Victory City:
“A superb, complex celebration of storytelling that inhabits a unique space somewhere between an epic poem, a history book, and an adventure novel with magical elements, political commentary, and even a healthy dose of romance.... ‘Victory City’ contains enough adventures and action to keep even the most demanding readers entertained, but it’s also the kind of novel that welcomes—no, that invites—introspection.... [It] feels like a triumphant scream against censorship as well as a celebration of language, storytelling, and otherness.... Literature can offer guides to a better future, even when it’s fiction about the past, and Victory City is precisely that.”—Boston Globe
“Rushdie’s return to magic, myth, and India’s ancient stories is dazzling . . . Whether it’s an allegory for present-day India or a feminist retelling of a pre-colonial empire (or both!), Victory City nevertheless celebrates a singular story of female resilience.”—Esquire