- The India-born author of “Midnight’s Children” has suffered “profound” wounds even as he continues to recover from the brutal attack.
Salman Rushdie lives, but his life will not be the same again. The 75-year-old author of the controversial “The Satanic Verses,” who for three decades lived under a death threat, survived a knife attack in August at a literary event in upstate New York.
On Saturday, his agent Andrew Wylie told the Spanish language newspaper, El Pais, that “Rushdie suffered three serious wounds to his neck and 15 more wounds to his chest and torso in the attack that took away sight in an eye and left a hand incapacitated,” the Associated Press reported.
The author has lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand, even as he continues to recover.
According to Wylie Rushdie’s wounds “were profound, but he’s [also] lost the sight of one eye … He had three serious wounds in his neck. 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.”
His attacker, Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, currently incarcerated, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in the second-degree, and second-degree assault, over the attack. But in an interview in The New York Post Matar said he disliked Rushdie and praised Khomeini. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, who issued the fatwa on Rushdie died in 1989.
Rushdie underwent emergency surgery after he was stabbed several times. While the agent declined to say whether Rushdie is still being treated at the hospital, he told El Pais the important thing is that the world-famous author will survive.
Wylie also told El País he and Rushdie had talked about the possibility of such an attack 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],” he said. “So, you can’t protect against that because it’s totally unexpected and illogical. It was like John Lennon’s murder.”