今年60歲的英國作家薩爾曼‧拉什迪(Salman Rushdie) 的第十本小說作品「佛羅倫薩妖女 (The Enchantress of Florence)」，故事時空背景設定在15、16世紀的佛羅倫薩與印度莫臥兒(Mughal)王朝的首都法第普西克里城(Fatehpur Sikri)；故事內容則以一樁宮庭陰謀作為主軸；人物方面，除了融入史實人物莫臥兒王朝的皇帝阿卡巴(Akbar)，與義大利哲學家馬基雅維里(Niccolo Machiavelli)之外，還有四處魅惑男人的神秘大美女奎拉‧卡滋(Qara Koz)。讀者在閱讀這本書的時候，將被拉什迪帶領到一個暨奇幻又寫實的小說世界裡，而這也是拉什迪所擅長的寫作風格。
目前在拉什迪的創作中，最讓人所津津樂道的，是他在1988年時所寫的小說「撒旦詩篇(The Satanic Verses)」。原因是因為這本小說激怒了眾多的回教徒，更讓伊朗最高回教領導人頒布追殺拉什迪的命令，迫使的拉什迪不得不東躲西藏。
小說「佛羅倫薩妖女 (The Enchantress of Florence)」，由美國出版業巨頭倫道姆豪斯(Random House)負責出版。起初拉什迪打算將整個故事的內容設定在歐洲，不過最後卻架構於兩個鮮少交集的文明之間。目前各方對這本小說的褒貶不一。英國的衛報評論(the Guardian Review)，就認為這本小說寫的很棒；而星期日泰晤士報(the Sunday Times)則批評這本小說是拉什迪歷來最糟糕的作品。也許拉什迪的最新作品，又會給這個世界激盪出什麼新火花也不一定。
※ The original article was taken from Reuters Website. ( 原文取自路透社網站 )
INTRO: Book saves Salman Rushdie from "wrecked" private life. British author Salman Rushdie says writing a new novel saved him from the "wreckage" of his divorce last year from fourth wife Padma Lakshmi.
STORY: "The Enchantress of Florence(佛羅倫薩妖女；佛羅倫斯的女巫)", Rushdie's 10th novel, is a story of 15th and 16th century court intrigue in Florence and the Mughal(莫臥兒) capital Fatehpur Sikri(法第普西克里城) which marks a return to his trademark magical realism where fact and fantasy intertwine.
"It was a good place to go at a time when my private life was in a state of wreckage, and yes it was, I suppose, a bit of a refuge," Rushdie told Reuters in an interview. "I think in the end what got me through it was the long familiarity of the necessary discipline of writing a novel." 【shows 2】
Rushdie, best known for his 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" which outraged Muslims and forced him into hiding after a death edict was issued by Iran's then supreme religious leader, announced the divorce in 2007, ending a three-year marriage.
SALMAN RUSHDIE SAYING: "I found that in the end a lifetime's habit of just going to my desk and doing a day's work and not allowing myself not to do it is what got me back on track."【shows 4】
His tale of two cities centres around real-life characters like the great Mughal emperor Akbar and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli in Italy and others like the mysterious beauty Qara Koz, who enchants men wherever she goes.
The novel, published by Random House, has divided critics, with the Guardian review saying it was "magnificent" and the Sunday Times calling it "the worst thing he has ever written." The 60-year-old had originally intended to set the story completely in Europe, but ended up dividing the narrative between two great civilizations that barely knew of each other.