Salman Rushdie speaks for the first time about fatal New York knife attack ahead of 'Victory City' release
Award-winning novelist Sir Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed last year at an event in New York, is all set to release his new novel 'Victoria City', an epic tale of a 14th-century woman who defies a patriarchal world to rule a city, on Tuesday. In a recent interview, he finally broke his silence and commented on the 'colossal attack', due to which he spent six weeks in hospital and lost vision in one eye.
Speaking to The New Yorker, Sir Salman said he was "lucky" to have survived the attack and that his "main overwhelming feeling is of gratitude".
In the wide-ranging conversation with David Remnick, the novelist further revealed, "I've been better. But, considering what happened, I'm not so bad."
Hadi Matar, the man suspected of stabbing Sir Salman, has been charged with attempted murder.
"The big injuries are healed, essentially. I have feeling in my thumb and index finger and in the bottom half of the palm. I'm doing a lot of hand therapy, and I'm told that I'm doing very well," he said before stating that it was difficult for him to type and write due to a lack of sensation in some of his fingertips.
Further, sharing how much he has recovered so far, Sir Salman said, "I'm able to get up and walk around. When I say I'm fine, I mean, there are bits of my body that need constant checkups. It was a colossal attack."
Speaking of the mental scars the knife attack left on him, the novelist shared that he is having to rethink his approach to security, having lived without it for more than two decades.
"There is such a thing as PTSD, you know," Sir Salman said. "I've found it very, very difficult to write. I sit down to write, and nothing happens. I write, but it's a combination of blankness and junk, stuff that I write and that I delete the next day. I'm not out of that forest yet, really."
Sir Salman was forced into hiding for nearly a decade after he published his 1988 novel 'The Satanic Verses'. Many Muslims slammed the writer for his portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad in his book. He faced several death threats and the then-Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, also issued a fatwa (decree), calling for his assassination and placing a $3m bounty on the author's head.