Salman Rushdie speaks up about trauma from being stabbed

Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie has spoken for the first time about having "crazy dreams" about the knife attack on him in New York, which has left him blind in one eye, and working with a therapist to help him process the mental impact of the trauma.

Rushdie said he was in
Rushdie (left) said he was in "two minds" about whether to face his alleged attacker, who has pleaded not guilty, in court. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@JohannaTC

The 76-year-old Mumbai-born author was on stage almost a year ago when he was stabbed up to 10 times by the suspect Hadi Matar, who is being held in prison for attempted murder.

Speaking to the BBC this week, Rushdie said he was in "two minds" about whether to face his alleged attacker, who has pleaded not guilty, in court.

"I have a very good therapist who has a lot of work to do. I have crazy dreams," the novelist said.

"If he changes his plea to guilty then actually there's not a trial, there's just a sentencing, and it may well be that then my presence isn't required. I'm in two minds about it. There's one bit of me that actually wants to go and stand on the court and look at him and there's another bit of me that just can't be bothered. I don't have a very high opinion of him. And I think what is important to me now is that you're able to find life continuing. I'm more engaged with the business of, you know, getting on with it," he said when asked if he plans to attend Matar's trial later this year.

The injuries from the attack resulted in damage to his liver, lost vision in one eye and a paralysed hand caused by nerve damage to his arm.

"The human body has an amazing capacity to heal. And so I'm fortunate to be well on that way," said the author of 'Midnight's Children' who says he feels physically "more or less OK".

Rushdie is now writing a book about the near-fatal stabbing incident as a means of processing what he has been through. In the virtual interview, he told the BBC it won't be more than a "couple of hundred of pages" long.

"There's this colossal elephant in the room and, until I deal with that, it is difficult to take seriously anything else," he noted.

The British American author, who lives in New York, has been the subject of a fatwa by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini for his controversial novel The Satanic Verses' issued over 30 years ago and has had several death threats over that time.

His latest book, Victory City', was finished just before the attack in August last year and has been well-received by critics.

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India – Writer

The Press Trust of India Ltd., commonly known as PTI, is the largest news agency in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi and is a nonprofit cooperative among more than 500 Indian newspapers. It has over 500 full-time employees as of 1 January 2022, including about 400 journalists.


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