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Salman Rushdie ‘lucky’ to be alive after ‘colossal’ attack

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Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie has spoken out for the first time since he was stabbed multiple times at an event in New York.

In August 2022, the Midnight’s Children author was stabbed in the right side of his neck and face, his left hand, and his abdomen by a man who rushed onto the stage as he was about to start a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution.

He spent six weeks in hospital and subsequently lost vision in one eye, while the feeling in some of his fingertips hasn’t returned.

Opening up about his recovery in an interview with The New Yorker, the 75-year-old said, “Well, you know, I’ve been better. But, considering what happened, I’m not so bad. As you can see, the big injuries are healed, essentially. I have feeling in my thumb and index finger and in the bottom half of the palm. I’m doing a lot of hand therapy, and I’m told that I’m doing very well.

“There have been nightmares – not exactly the incident, but just frightening. Those seem to be diminishing. I’m fine. I’m able to get up and walk around. When I say I’m fine, I mean, there’s bits of my body that need constant checkups. It was a colossal attack.”

Rushdie noted that he cannot type very well because of the lack of feeling in his fingertips and has been finding it “very difficult to write” because his mind goes blank, something he attributes to his post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, despite his ongoing recovery, Rushdie shared, “I’m lucky. What I really want to say is that my main overwhelming feeling is gratitude.”

In addition, he admitted he has been asking himself if he made a mistake letting his guard down once he moved to New York in 2000, more than 20 years after a fatwa – or decree – was issued for his assassination over his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.

Rushdie has barely left his home except for medical appointments since the attack and will not be publicly promoting his new book, Victory City, which is released this week. The novel was completed before the incident.

His suspected attacker, Hadi Matar, was charged with attempted murder in the second degree. He has pleaded not guilty.

– Cover Media