Rushdie describes the book as "a way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art."
Celebrated Indian-born novelist Salman Rushdie is to release a memoir about the horrifying attack that left him blind in his right eye and with a damaged left hand.
The 256-page book, “Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder”, will be published 16 April 2024.
“This was a necessary book for me to write: a way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art,” Rushdie said in a statement released by Penguin Random House.
“'Knife' is a searing book, and a reminder of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable," Penguin Random House CEO Nihar Malaviya said in a statement. “We are honored to publish it, and amazed at Salman’s determination to tell his story, and to return to the work he loves.”
In August 2022, Rushdie, 76, was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and abdomen by a man who rushed the stage as the author was about to give a lecture in New York. His attacker, Hadi Matar, a Shi’ite Muslim American from New Jersey, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder and assault.
While his public interventions have been rare since the attack, Rushdie previously spoke about his ordeal, telling interviewer RTP journalist Ana Daniela Soares about his unwavering stance in the face of hatred and animosity that have shadowed his creative journey.
Rushdie spent years in hiding after Iran urged Muslims to kill him because of his writing - Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa calling for Rushdie's death over alleged blasphemy in his 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses.” The writer lived in isolation and with round-the-clock security, but for years since, he had moved about with few restrictions. Until the stabbing at the Chautauqua Institution.
While Iran’s pro-reform government of President Mohammad Khatami distanced itself from the fatwa in the late 1990s, the bounty hanging over Rushdie’s head kept growing and the fatwa was never lifted.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei once said the fatwa against Rushdie was “irrevocable.” However, in the wake of the August 2022 attack, an Iranian government official denied that Tehran was involved the attack on Rushdie.
“Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder” will be published in the US by Random House, the Penguin Random House imprint that earlier this year released his novel “ Victory City ,” completed before the attack.
Rushdie’s other works include the Booker Prize-winning “Midnight's Children,” “Shame" and “The Moor's Last Sigh.” Rushdie is also a prominent advocate for free expression and a former president of PEN America.