Renowned author Salman Rushdie is set to publish a memoir titled “Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder” on April 16. The memoir delves into the harrowing attack that resulted in Rushdie losing sight in his right eye and sustaining damage to his left hand. Penguin Random House, the publisher, released a statement on Wednesday, quoting Rushdie as saying that writing the book was necessary for him to reclaim control over the incident and respond to violence with art.
The attack occurred last August when Rushdie was stabbed multiple times in the neck and abdomen by Hadi Matar, who rushed the stage as the author was about to deliver a lecture in western New York. Matar has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and attempted murder.
Following the issuance of a fatwa by Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, calling for Rushdie’s death over alleged blasphemy in his novel “The Satanic Verses,” the author lived in isolation with round-the-clock security. However, in recent years, he had been able to move around with fewer restrictions until the stabbing incident at the Chautauqua Institution.
The 256-page memoir, “Knife,” will be published in the United States by Random House, the Penguin Random House imprint. Rushdie, a former president of PEN America and a prominent advocate for free expression, has received praise for his determination to share his story and return to his beloved work.
In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Rushdie discussed his ordeal, emphasizing his efforts to avoid bitterness and recrimination. He mentioned his struggle to write fiction after the fatwa and expressed the possibility of writing a memoir instead. Rushdie described the attack as a first-person story, stating that it felt personal and not something to be narrated in the third person.