• Monday, May 20, 2024


‘So it’s you’: Salman Rushdie recalls first thought on attacker

Salman Rushdie was attacked in August 2022 while preparing to speak at a cultural event in New York. (Photo: Getty Images)

Vivek MishraBy: Vivek Mishra

Since 1989, Salman Rushdie has lived under the shadow of a death threat due to his controversial writings. When he faced a near-fatal stabbing, his immediate reaction was, “So it’s you.”

Rushdie shared his reflections on this life-altering incident in his new book, “Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder,” which is slated for release on Tuesday (April 16).

During an appearance on the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” Rushdie read an excerpt from his book describing his assailant as a man in black clothes who approached him “coming in hard and low” like a “squat missile.”

“I confess, I had sometimes imagined my assassin rising up in some public forum or other, and coming for me in just this way. So my first thought when I saw this murderous shape rushing towards me was, ‘So it’s you. Here you are,’” Rushdie recounted.

Rushdie, originally from Mumbai and famous for his novel “Midnight’s Children,” faced severe backlash from the Muslim community after publishing “The Satanic Verses” in 1988. The book’s dream sequences concerning early Islam and the Prophet Mohammed led Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s revolutionary leader, to issue a fatwa in 1989 urging Muslims to kill Rushdie, forcing him into hiding in Britain. He later became a naturalised American.

In recent years, Rushdie lived with less secrecy and became well-known on the New York social scene. He was attacked in August 2022 while preparing to speak at a cultural event in New York state.

Discussing the attack on “60 Minutes,” Rushdie shared a comment from one of his life-saving surgeons: “‘First you were really unlucky and then you were really lucky.’”

When Rushdie asked about the lucky part, the surgeon explained, “‘Well, the lucky part is that the man who attacked you had no idea how to kill a man with a knife.’”


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