Celebrity News February 06, 2023
Salman Rushdie Gives Update After Near-Fatal Attack Last Year
The photo in @NewYorker is dramatic and powerful but this, more prosaically, is what I actually look like. 😊 pic.twitter.com/ydrV7WvWgE— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) February 6, 2023 @SalmanRushdie
Esteemed author Salman Rushdie, who was brutally stabbed multiple times before a literary event in August in New York state, is speaking out about his recovery.
Decades after Iran placed a bounty on Rushdie's life over offense caused by the publication of his acclaimed 1989 novel "The Satanic Verses," the Indian-born writer was attacked in Chautauqua, New York, a normally tranquil setting.
Rushdie, 75, gave a lengthy interview to the New Yorker, but also shared an updated photo on Twitter.
He wrote, “The photo in @NewYorker is dramatic and powerful but this, more prosaically, is what I actually look like,” the author explained along with a smiley face emoji.
The New Yorker writer David Remnick details what happened the day of the attack as Salman and friend Henry Reese took the stage at the event. That’s when suspect Hadi Matar allegedly rushed the stage, stabbing Salman about a dozen times. Reese then tackled the assailant, who then also allegedly stabbed Reese.
Salman Rushdie Stabbed in N.Y. Ahead of LectureView Story
Remnick said upon seeing Rushdie around Christmas time, “The sight of him making his way down the hall was startling: He has lost more than 40 lbs. since the stabbing. The right lens of his eyeglasses is blacked over. The attack left him blind in that eye, and he now usually reads with an iPad so that he can adjust the light and the size of the type. There is scar tissue on the right side of his face. He speaks as fluently as ever, but his lower lip droops on one side. The ulnar nerve in his left hand was badly damaged.”
Salman told him, “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.”
When asked if he could type, the author said, “Not very well, because of the lack of feeling in the fingertips of these fingers.” Writing? “I just write more slowly. But I’m getting there.”
Since the attack, Rushdie said, “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.”
At another point in the article, Rushdie says, “There is such a thing as P.T.S.D., you know. I’ve found it very, very difficult to write. I sit down to write, and nothing happens. I write, but it’s a combination of blankness and junk, stuff that I write and that I delete the next day. I’m not out of that forest yet, really… One of the things about being seventy-five and having written twenty-one books is that you know that, if you keep at it, something will come.”
Salman Rushdie Update: 'The Road to Recovery Has Begun'View Story
Rushdie has lived openly, despite threats against his life, for many years. When asked if it was a mistake to let his guard down in New York, he said, “Well, I’m asking myself that question, and I don’t know the answer to it. I did have more than 20 years of life. So, is that a mistake? Also, I wrote a lot of books. ‘The Satanic Verses’ was my fifth published book — my fourth published novel —and this is my twenty-first,” he said, referring to his latest book “Victory City," which was completed in 2021.
He continued, “So, three-quarters of my life as a writer has happened since the fatwa. In a way, you can’t regret your life.”
According to The New Yorker, Matar entered a not guilty plea shortly after the attack. He’s facing an attempted murder charge in the second degree for the alleged attack on Rushdie and assault in the second degree for the attack on Reese. His trial is expected to take place next year.