The Indian-born British-American novelist, Salman Rushdie, announced that he will be publishing a memoir of the 2022 stabbing attack on him in New York. The announcement was made by Penguin Random House on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, that the title for Rushdie’s new memoir will be ‘‘Knife : Meditations After an Attempted Murder’’, and that the memoir will be published next year on April 16, 2024.
The 2022 stabbing attack on Salman Rushdie :
The renowned novelist, Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage at the Chautauqua Institution in New York last year. He was scheduled to deliver a speech at the public event in regards to the United States being a safe haven for exiled writers.
Right as the event was about to commence, his attacker – who was reportedly a 24 year old man – jumped upon the stage and stabbed Rushdie multiple times on his face and abdomen before the assailant was pulled away by the audience members. The knife attack left Rushdie to temporarily rely on a ventilator. Along with being gravely injured, his right eye was left blind and the use of one of his hands was also affected due to the vicious assault.
His assailant has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges of second degree assault and attempted murder.
The 1989 fatwa :
Shortly after the publication of his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, which included a fictional rendering of the life of the Prophet, a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death was issued in 1989 by the then supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The fatwa called for the novelist’s death along with a bounty of $2.5 million on his head. This forced Rushdie to go into hiding for almost a decade.
“A way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art” :
In a statement released by the publisher, Rushdie claimed that the memoir was a necessary book for him to write and that it’s a “way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art”. Rushdie’s public appearances since the attack on him last year, have been rare and limited.
Nearly six months after the stabbing attack, Salman Rushdie released a new novel titled “Victory City”.
The description of the memoir on the Penguin website states that ‘Knife’ is an intimate, gripping, and ultimately life-affirming meditation on life, loss, love, art and on finding the strength to stand up again. The description also states that Salman Rushdie speaks out for the first time in “unforgettable detail” about the traumatic events of August 12, 2022, by answering violence with art.
Further details of the memoir are awaited.