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Random House Acquires World Rights to Rushdie Memoir

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Oct 18 – Oct 24, 2010 Edition Random House Acquires World Rights to Rushdie Memoir

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/October 21, 2010—In one of the most far-reaching multi-national and multi-language book-publishing deals by one publisher for a single title, Random House has acquired rights to publish a memoir by Salman Rushdie in each of its territories across the world. Markus Dohle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Random House worldwide, announced the acquisition of hardcover, paperback, audio, and e-book rights for English- German- and Spanish-language editions of the work-in-progress from Andrew Wylie, President of The Wylie Agency, the author’s agent. Mr. Rushdie expects to complete his manuscript by the end of next year for publication by Random House in 2012.

Mr. Dohle brought together the publishing and editorial leadership from each of the company’s international divisions for this acquisition, which is unprecedented in scope for the world’s largest trade book publisher. Random House is planning a simultaneous publication of the memoir in each of its territories in physical, digital and audio formats. “This extraordinary work merits an extraordinary publishing effort on our part,” said Mr. Dohle. “It offers Random House, on behalf of one of the world’s great writers, the opportunity to harness our tremendous international creative and logistic capabilities, which will support the focused, customized publishing campaigns each of our publishers will execute locally.”

Random House will publish the memoir in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa, in English; Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, in German; and Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, and Uruguay, in Spanish. The Random House and Knopf Canada imprints are the respective U.S. and Canadian publishers. In the U.K., the book will be published by the Random House U.K. imprint Jonathan Cape; in Germany, by the Verlagsgruppe Random House imprint C. Bertelsmann; and in Spain and Latin America, by Random House Mondadori’s Literatura Mondadori.

Salman Rushdie is one of the world’s most revered and honored writers. His memoir will be an evocation of his public and personal life: his outsider’s experience at British public school and Cambridge; his evolution as a writer; his relationships as a husband and a father; and his years in hiding following the fatwah issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini after the publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988. Mr. Rushdie currently is working on the film version of his classic novel Midnight’s Children, which won the Booker Prize in 1981.

Susan Kamil, Publisher of the U.S. Random House imprint said: “Will Murphy, his U.S. editor, and I have read many pages from Mr. Rushdie’s first draft, and we are dazzled once again by his prodigious literary gifts and his mesmerizing ability to tell a riveting story, this time of his very own life. We can’t wait to read the completed manuscript and to work with him to bring it to publication.”

Mr. Rushdie observed, “I’m absolutely delighted that Random House, my longtime publisher, has agreed to publish my memoir in the English-language world, as well as in Spanish, and for the first time in German. I couldn’t wish for a better home for my work. I have waited a long time to write this memoir, until I felt I was ready to do it. I’m ready now.”

Mr. Rushdie’s latest work of fiction, Luka and the Fire of Life, was just published by Jonathan Cape in the U.K., and will be published by the Random House imprint in the U.S., and Knopf Canada on November 16.

Mr. Dohle added, “It is a privilege for Random House to publish this remarkable memoir by Salman Rushdie, whose courage and commitment to freedom of expression is matched only by his unsurpassed importance as a writer.”

Random House is the trade-book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG.