NEW YORK – The controversial historical novel based on the life of Prophet Muhammad’s child bride will finally find its way into American bookstores next month.
Sherry Jones’ "The Jewel of Medina" will be released in October in North America by Beaufort Books, which also signed on for the sequel, which will come out next year, FOXNews.com has learned.
Last month, Random House pulled the plug on Jones’ novel just weeks before it was to be published because of fear of violent reaction by Islamic extremists.
But the controversial novel has found new life.
"I had hoped to find an independent publisher with gumption and verve that would treat me as a partner in the publishing process, and that wouldn't be spooked by controversy, recognizing it as a stimulus for discussion of my books' themes of women's empowerment, peace, and hope," Sherry Jones said in a statement.
• Click here to read the prologue to "The Jewel of Medina."
"We are building a great team to bring 'The Jewel of Medina' to the audience it deserves to have," Beaufort President Eric Kampmann said in an e-mailed statement. "Everyone at Beaufort is proud to be associated with this ground-breaking novel."
Earlier this week, publishing house Gibson Square announced its acquisition of the British rights to "The Jewel of Medina." The book will hit stores in the U.K. next month. The company hopes to roll out releases in Australia and New Zealand soon after that.
"She's written about a beautiful subject and she's written about it in a way that shows nothing but the greatest respect for the Muslim religion," Martin Rynja, Gibson Square director, said. "If such a book cannot be published then we're back in the dark ages."
Random House’s decision to back out of its scheduled release date was considered a rare case of self-censorship in the U.S. The publishing house said its decision was made after consulting with security experts and scholars of Islam who strongly advised against releasing Jones’ book. One Muslim scholar who was given advanced copies of the book said "The Jewel of Medina" turned the "sacred story" of Muhammad's child bride, Aisha, into "soft core pornography."
Jones told FOXNews.com that she questioned the publishing house's 11th-hour balk.
"By saying that Muslims will be violent, that they can't intelligently discuss this book, it's disrespectful to Muslims," Jones said. "To me, it feels racist for them to say that someone will try to attack them, that someone will try to go after me."
Jones said Random House broke her contract after paying her a $100,000 advance and allowing her to seek another publisher.
Neither Beaufort Books nor Gibson Square disclosed the amount of their offer for publishing rights.