Words from Salman Rushdie's books to be read in Edinburgh after attack

Sir Salman has been a regular attendee at the city's International Book Festival.

Words from Salman Rushdie’s books to be read at Edinburgh International Book Festival after New York attack Edinburghfestivalcity.comGetty Images

Sir Salman Rushdie is reportedly on a ventilator and may lose an eye after he was stabbed on stage in New York state.

The 75-year-old Indian-born British author sustained nerve damage to his arm and damage to his liver, according to the New York Times.

Sir Salman, whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, has been a regular attendee at Edinburgh’s International Book Festival, where he last visited in-person in 2019 and online in 2021.

In tribute to him as he is treated in hospital, authors have been invited to read a sentence from one of his novels at the beginning of their events.

Nick Barley, director of Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: “As we open this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, we send love and best wishes to Salman Rushdie.

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“Salman visited us last in 2019 and joined us online last year. We are inspired by his courage and are thinking of him at this difficult time.

“This tragedy is a painful reminder of the fragility of things we hold dear and a call to action: we won’t be intimidated by those who would use violence rather than words.

“As a gesture of support and solidarity we are inviting all authors appearing in the adult programme to read a sentence from one of Salman’s books at the beginning of their book festival event.”

Sir Salman’s agent Andrew Wylie told the publication the news was “not good,” adding that the nerves in Sir Salman’s arm were severed in the attack and his liver was “stabbed and damaged”.

JK Rowling and Stephen King are among the authors and notable faces voicing their disbelief after Sir Salman was stabbed on stage in New York state.

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As he was transported to hospital by helicopter, with his condition unclear, a number of authors took to social media to speak of their shock following the “horrific” incident.

Harry Potter author Rowling, said on Twitter: “Horrifying news.

“Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend.

“Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.”

Renowned American author of horror and fantasy novels King added: “I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”

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