Salman Rushdie lost the sight in one eye and the use of one hand after being repeatedly stabbed at literary event in upstate New York two months ago, his agent said.
The 75-year-old author, whose 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ forced him into hiding amid calls for his death, was stabbed in the neck and chest as he took the stage to deliver a speech at the Chautauqua Institution on August 12. .
But the extent of his injuries were only revealed on Saturday, when his agent Andrew Wylie gave an update on his condition in an interview with the Spanish newspaper, The country.
“[His wounds] were deep, but it is [also] lost sight in one eye,” Wylie said. “He had three serious neck injuries. A hand is incapacitated because the nerves in its arm have been severed. And he has about 15 other chest and torso injuries. So it was a brutal attack.
The agent declined to say whether Rushdie was still being treated in hospital, but said the important thing was that the world-renowned author will survive.
Wylie added that the possibility of an attack was something on their minds.
“I think the attack was probably something that Salman and I have discussed in the past, which is that the main danger he faced so many years after the imposition of the fatwa was from a random person coming out. out of nowhere and attacking [him]” Wylie said.
“So you can’t protect yourself against that because it’s totally unexpected and illogical. It was like the murder of John Lennon,” he added.
Resident of New Jersey Hadi Matar, 24, who was arrested in the Rushdie stabbing, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and second-degree assault in August.
New York State Police say Rushdie was about to start his scheduled lecture when Matar charged into the scene with a knife in his hand, stabbing the British author in the neck and chest.
Rushdie spent nearly a decade in hiding after “The Satanic Verses” was published, angering some who called the novel blasphemous. A religious edict known as a fatwa, calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie, was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s leader, a year after the book was published.