Salman Rushdie had parts of his latest book, "The Golden House," in his head for 10 years, even though the setting of the novel sounds a lot like our current political climate.

“I tweeted on [election] day, hopefully assuming that the worst would not happen, and was wrong,” he said on BPR today. “My book, meanwhile, knew better than I did.”

The book surrounds a wealthy family recently immigrated to the United States under mysterious circumstances and a filmmaker who infiltrates their inner circle.

Rushdie explained that the book’s central family has remained constant, though the context of the story is based on life in the U.S. during Obama’s presidency and after Trump's election.

And if Trump hadn’t won?

“I would have had to do some reshaping, but that stuff is all background, so it wouldn’t have really changed the story line,” he said. “Around them, outside the private space, is the kind of larger craziness of New York and America in these last 8 or 9 years.”

In the background of Rushdie’s new novel is a “giant victorious green-haired cartoon king.” The character is based on President Trump, though Rushdie doesn’t say it explicitly.

“We all know where the Joker comes from,” he said. “In a deck of playing cards, the two most exceptional players are the joker and the trump.”

Despite the chaos of the background of his book, and his obvious disdain for the president, Rushdie isn’t completely cynical about the current state of affairs.

“I think it’s a shocking and bad moment, but I don’t feel despair about it,” he said. “I don’t see this as being the beginning of the next forever.”

Salman Rushdie’s latest novel is The Golden House. He’ll be at the First Parish Church tonight at 6:30 at an event sponsored by the Harvard Bookstore. To listen to his interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.