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Novelist Salman Rushdie stabbed on lecture stage in New York

A man has been taken into custody at the venue.

12 August 2022

A man has been taken into custody after author Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage in New York state.

The 75-year-old novelist, whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution when the incident occurred.

Sir Salman suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported to hospital by helicopter where his condition remains unclear, state police said.

Salman Rushdie Assault
Author Salman Rushdie is tended to after he was attacked during a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution (AP/Joshua Goodman)

A statement from New York State Police said: “On August 12 2022, at about 11am, a male suspect ran up on to the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.

“Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known.

“The interviewer suffered a minor head injury. A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene. More information will be released when it is available.”

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.

It went on to bring him worldwide fame, with it also later crowned the “best of the Bookers” on the literary award’s 25th anniversary.

The author lived in hiding for many years after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his execution over his 1988 book The Satanic Verses.

Finally, in 1998, the Iranian Government withdrew its support for the death sentence and Rushdie gradually returned to public life, even appearing as himself in the 2001 hit film Bridget Jones’s Diary.

His other works include the Moor’s Last Sight and Shalimar The Clown, which was long-listed for the Booker.

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