Salman Rushdie’s agent speaks of author’s injuries after stabbing attack

Entertainment

Author Sir Salman Rushdie has lost the sight in an eye and the use of a hand after he was stabbed on stage, his agent has revealed.

The Indian-born British writer, who faced death threats for his novel The Satanic Verses, was attacked in August as he was about to deliver a lecture in New York state.

He was stabbed around 12 times, including in his face and neck, but the full extent of his injuries had been unclear until now.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Sir Salman’s literary agent Andrew Wyle said the 75-year-old’s injuries were “profound” and he had “lost the sight of one eye”.

“He had three serious wounds in his neck,” Mr Wylie said.

“One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso. So, it was a brutal attack.”

Mr Wylie refused to reveal if Sir Salman remained in hospital, saying he could not give any information about his whereabouts.

More on Salman Rushdie

“He’s going to live… that’s the more important thing,” he added.

Sir Salman spent nearly a decade in hiding after the publication in 1988 of his work The Satanic Verses, which some Muslims consider to be blasphemous.

Novelist Salman Rushdie holds paperback copy of his controversial novel. "The Satanic Verses" March 4, 1992. Pic: AP
Image:
Salman Rushdie holds a copy of his novel
The Satanic Verses in 1992. Pic: AP

A fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill him was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader, a year later.

Mr Wylie said an attack “was probably something that Salman and I have discussed in the past”.

“The principal danger that he faced so many years after the fatwa was imposed is from a random person coming out of nowhere and attacking [him],” the agent said.

“So, you can’t protect against that because it’s totally unexpected and illogical. It was like John Lennon’s murder.”

Read more:
Why is Salman Rushdie so controversial?

Hadi Matar. Pic: Chautauqua County Jail
Image:
Hadi Matar is accused of stabbing Sir Salman. Pic: Chautauqua County Jail

Following the attack on Sir Salman, Iran’s foreign ministry said the author “and his supporters are to blame for what happened to him”.

The man accused of stabbing Sir Salman has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges.

Hadi Matar, 24, is being held in custody as he awaits trial.

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