Report: Salman Rushdie lives, but loses sight of his eyes and hands


Salman Rushdie’s agent says the author lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand as he recovers from an attack by a man who rushed onto the stage during a a literary event in August in Western New York, according to a published report.

Literary agent Andrew Wylie told Spanish-language newspaper El Pais in an article published on Saturday that Rushdie suffered three serious neck injuries and 15 other chest and torso injuries in the attack that took his sight away. one eye and left one hand unfit.

Rushdie, 75, spent years in hiding after Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an edict in 1989, a fatwa, calling for his death after the publication of his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’, which some Muslims consider as blasphemous. For the past two decades, Rushdie has traveled freely.

Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, was jailed after pleading not guilty to attempted murder and assault in the Aug. 12 attack on Rushdie while being ushered into Chautauqua Institution, a rural center 89 kilometers (54 miles) southwest of Buffalo, known for its summer lecture series.

After the attack, Rushdie was treated at a Pennsylvania hospital, where he was briefly put on a ventilator to recover from what Wylie told El Pais was a ‘brutal attack’ that severed the nerves in an arm. .

Wylie told the newspaper he could not say if Rushdie remained in the hospital or discuss his whereabouts.

“He’s going to live… That’s the important thing,” Wylie said.

The attack was in the direction of what Rushie and his agent thought was the “main danger…a random person coming out of nowhere and attacking,” Wylie told El Pais.

“So you can’t protect against that because it’s totally unexpected and illogical,” he said.

Wylie told the newspaper it was like the murder of Beatles member John Lennon. Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment building in Manhattan on December 8, 1980, hours after the singer signed an autograph for Chapman.

In a prison interview with the New York Post, Matar said he disliked Rushdie and praised Khomeini. Iran has denied any involvement in the attack.