Indian origin novelist Salman Rushdie was honoured with the medal for prose at the Hay Festival 2023 for his latest novel Victory City. Hay Festival, launched in 1988 in the book town of Hay-on-Wye in Wales, United Kingdom is known as one of the biggest literary events in the world and has attracted Nobel prize winners, renowned authors, thinkers, and readers from all corners of the globe.
While Rushdie was not present at the event, his book Victory City was launched at the festival by a panel including Canadian poet Margaret Atwood and Turkish-British novelist Elif Shafak. Set in 14th century Southern India, Victory City follows the story of Pampa Kampana, who is blessed with divine power by Goddess Parvati to found Bisnaga city, which translates to Victory City.
“I’m delighted and proud that my name is being added to the immensely illustrious list of previous recipients of this Medal. I’m only sorry that I can’t be at Hay Festival in person this year, but I hope to rectify that soon,” Rushdie said in a statement after being named as the recipient.
Awarded annually since 2012, the Hay Festival award recipients this year includes Rushdie, Mererid Hopwood (Medal for Poetry), Alice Oseman (Medal for Fiction), and Serhiy Zhadan (Medal for Songwriting).