Salman Rushdie Recounts 2022 Stabbing Attack in New Book

Salman Rushdie's new book 'Knife' recounts his harrowing 2022 stabbing attack, exploring survival, recovery, and the ongoing challenges faced by writers targeted for their work.

author-image
Bijay Laxmi
Updated On
New Update
Salman Rushdie Recounts 2022 Stabbing Attack in New Book

Salman Rushdie Recounts 2022 Stabbing Attack in New Book

Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author of the controversial novel 'The Satanic Verses,' has released a new autobiographical book titled 'Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder.' In the book, Rushdie recounts the harrowing experience of the 2022 stabbing attack he suffered in New York, which left him with the loss of his right eye and limited use of one hand.

The attack occurred on August 12, 2022, when Rushdie was about to deliver a lecture on 'the creation in America of safe spaces for writers from elsewhere' at the Chautauqua Institution in Upstate New York. The assailant, identified as 26-year-old Hadi Matar, stabbed Rushdie multiple times, inflicting severe injuries that required a six-week hospitalization. "I was the one with the luck," Rushdie writes in the book, reflecting on the incident.

In 'Knife,' Rushdie expresses shame for not defending himself during the assault and provides a compelling account of his survival and recovery. The book is described as an intimate and life-affirming meditation on life, loss, love, art, and finding the strength to stand up again after a traumatic event. Rushdie also explores the motives behind the attack, noting that it was not directly related to 'The Satanic Verses,' as Matar had only read a few pages of the novel.

The publication of 'Knife' comes nearly 35 years after Rushdie faced a fatwa (Islamic ruling) calling for his death over the content of 'The Satanic Verses,' which was deemed blasphemous. Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie, played a vital role in ensuring the release of the novel in 1989, despite the global controversy and threats to Rushdie's life.

Why this matters: Salman Rushdie's new book sheds light on the ongoing challenges faced by writers who have been targeted for their work and the importance of defending freedom of expression. The attack on Rushdie serves as a sobering reminder of the risks that authors can face, even decades after the initial controversy surrounding their work.

In the wake of the attack, Rushdie has received an outpouring of support from the literary community and world leaders, including President Joe Biden. Despite the ordeal, Rushdie maintains a lack of bitterness and seeks to empathize with his attacker, while also expressing contempt for those who have suggested he brought the fatwa upon himself. 'Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder' is set to be released on April 16, 2024, providing readers with Rushdie's personal account of the attack and its impact on his life.

Key Takeaways

  • Salman Rushdie releases new book 'Knife' on 2022 stabbing attack in New York.
  • Rushdie reflects on his survival, recovery, and the motives behind the attack.
  • The attack was not directly related to 'The Satanic Verses' controversy from 1989.
  • Rushdie's book sheds light on challenges faced by writers targeted for their work.
  • 'Knife' to be released on April 16, 2024, providing Rushdie's personal account.