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Salman Rushdie has lost use of an eye and hand after knife attack

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Salman Rushdie attends the 68th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Nov. 15, 2017, in New York. Rushdie has lost use of an eye and one hand after a knife attack in August, 2022.

Salman Rushdie attends the 68th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Nov. 15, 2017, in New York. Rushdie has lost use of an eye and one hand after a knife attack in August, 2022.

Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press

Author Salman Rushdie has reportedly lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand as he recovers from a knife attack at a lecture in New York in August.

In an interview with El Pais, Rushdie’s literary agent, Andrew Wylie, described the injuries Rushdie sustained after a man attacked him with a knife before his lecture at Chautauqua Institution on Aug. 12.

“(His wounds) were profound, but he’s (also) lost the sight of one eye. ... He had three serious wounds in his neck,” Wylie stated. “One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso. So, it was a brutal attack.”

Wylie did not reveal Rushdie’s current location or if he was still hospitalized.

Who is Salman Rushdie?

Rushdie, 75, is an award-winning novelist whose 1988 novel, “The Satanic Verses,” was so controversial he had to go into hiding.

The title “The Satanic Verses” refers to a supposed incident in which Satan spoke to Muhammad, which he mistook for divine revelation, according to the Deseret News. Some Muslims considered the book blasphemous. 

Why was Salman Rushdie attacked?

Following the publication of the novel, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for Rushdie to be killed.

Since then, several people associated with publishing the book have been attacked, according to a timeline of “The Satanic Verses” controversy from the Deseret News.

Although Iran no longer officially supports fatwa against Rushdie, the author was attacked in August and Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man, is now in custody. He has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault, The Associated Press reported.