Salman Rushdie lost sight in one eye and use of one hand after attacking the stage at a literary event in western New York in August, his agent said.
Andrew Wylie, who represents literary giants like Saul Bellow and Roberto Bolano, described the extent of the injuries Rushdie sustained in the “ruthless” attack in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Wylie described the author’s wounds as “profound,” noting the loss of vision in one eye. “He had three serious wounds to his neck. One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm have been severed. And he still has about 15 wounds in his chest and torso.”
The officer declined to say whether the 75-year-old author of “The Satanic Verses” was still in the hospital, more than two months after police said a 24-year-old New Jersey man had stabbed the writer in the neck and torso. just before Rushdie gave a lecture at Chautauqua Institution, a refuge about 12 miles from Lake Erie.
The novelist was rushed to hospital after sustaining serious injuries during the attack, including nerve damage in his arm, wounds to his liver and the likely loss of an eye, Wylie said at the time.
The attack came 33 years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran’s supreme leader, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie a few months after “The Satanic Verses” was published. Some Muslims saw passages in the novel about the prophet Muhammad as blasphemous.
Rushdie, who was born in India to a Muslim Kashmiri family, has lived with a bounty on his head and went into hiding under British police protection for nine years.
While the reformist Iranian government of President Mohammad Khatami distanced itself from the fatwa in the late 1990s, the multimillion-dollar bounty hanging over Rushdie’s head continued to grow and the fatwa was never lifted.
Khomeini’s successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was suspended from Twitter in 2019 for saying the fatwa against Rushdie was “irrevocable”.
The man charged with assaulting the novelist has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and second-degree assault. He is being held without bail in a prison in western New York.