Sir Salman Rushdie to release new memoir following New York stabbing

The 76-year-old author was attacked while on stage at a literary festival in August 2022.

Sir Salman Rushdie is to release a new memoir which documents how he survived an attempt on his life last year that left him blind in one eye.

The 76-year-old Indian-born British author was stabbed repeatedly while on stage at a literary festival in New York state in August 2022.

Sir Salman, who suffered severe, life-changing injuries after the incident, will release the book, titled Knife: Meditations After An Attempted Murder, with Penguin Random House on April 16 next year.

It has been described as “a powerful, deeply personal and ultimately uplifting meditation on life, loss, love, the power of art, finding the strength to keep going – and to stand up again”.

The Booker Prize winning author said: “This was a necessary book for me to write: a way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art.”

During the attack, Sir Salman sustained serious wounds to his neck, face, hand and abdomen which took away the sight in one eye and left his hand incapacitated at the time.

In his first interview after the attack in February, he said he was doing “not so bad” considering the severity of the incident.

Discussing Sir Salman’s upcoming memoir, the chief executive of Penguin Random House, Nihar Malaviya, added: “Knife is a searing book, and a reminder of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable.

“We are honoured to publish it, and amazed at Salman’s determination to tell his story, and to return to the work he loves.”

The incident was not the first time Sir Salman’s life has come under threat as in 1989 Iran’s former ruler Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his death after the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses, which some Muslims consider blasphemous.

Sir Salman began his writing career in the early 1970s with two unsuccessful books before Midnight’s Children, about the birth of India, which won the Booker Prize in 1981.

The author lived in hiding for many years in London under a British government protection programme after the fatwa.

Sir Salman’s most recent book, the novel Victory City, was published earlier this year, but it was written before the attack.

Knife will be the first book he has written since the events last year.

Vintage, a division at Penguin Random House UK, will publish Knife on April 16, 2024.

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