Salman Rushdie is the latest author to launch a newsletter on Substack, where he will publish fiction exclusive to the platform. Rushdie will serialize a new novella, The Seventh Wave, in his newsletter, Salman's Sea of Stories—a nod to his 1990 novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories—in addition to releasing new short stories via the platform.
“The point of doing this is to have a closer relationship with readers,” Rushdie explained in his inaugural post. “To speak freely, without any intermediaries or gatekeepers. There’s just us here, just you and me, and we can take this wherever it goes.”
The Seventh Wave is a 35,000-word novella, the Guardian reported in a lengthy interview with Rushdie, about a “film director and an actor slash muse written in the style of New Wave cinema.” Rushdie told PW that he's “enjoying the idea of publishing in serial form and letting readers discover the story as they go. That’s how novels used to be published back in the day, after all.”
In addition to the serialized novella and other stories, the newsletter will include, Rushdie wrote, “all sorts of stories, stories that have touched or moved or impressed or bored or even revolted me, in books and movies and on TV and in theaters, as well as stories I just plain made up.” It will be free but, like many newsletters on Substack, have extra features for paying subscribers, including more newsletters, “personal stories” and “the stories behind the stories I’ll be telling,” and forums where Rushdie and his paying subscribers can interact.
The project came about after Substack approached Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie of the Wylie Agency, asking if Rushdie would be interested in partnering with the platform, the Guardian reported. Still, Rushdie told PW that there are no plans at this time to publish the novella traditionally. “Let’s see how I feel once it’s all out there,” he wrote.