Salman Rushdie can talk and retains his “feisty and defiant” sense of humor since he was stabbed on stage in New York, his son has revealed.
Zafar Rushdie, 42, tweeted a heartfelt update on his father’s condition, who remains “critical” despite doctors being able to take him off a ventilator.
The Booker Prize-winning author, 75, was stabbed up to 15 times before a literary reading at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on Friday.
Suspected knifeman Hadi Matar (24) has been charged with attempted murder and assault. He has pleaded not guilty.
London-based PR agent Zafar wrote: ‘My father is still in critical condition in hospital. We are very relieved that he was taken off the ventilator and extra oxygen yesterday and was able to say a few words.
Salman Rushdie (left) standing with eldest son Zafar (right) at an event in London in June 2007
Rushdie told a German magazine earlier this month that the fatwa against him no longer feared him. Here, bystanders and staff tend to Mr Rushdie onstage after the attack
Recently Released Mugshots Show Suspected Knifeman Hadi Matar While Detained in NYC
Rushdie is being held at the UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania (pictured yesterday). Son Zafar said the family gathered at their father’s bedside
While his life-changing injuries are serious, his usual snappy and defiant sense of humor remains intact.
“We are so grateful to all the onlookers who bravely jumped to his defense and provided first aid, along with the police and doctors who looked after him and for the outpouring of love and support from around the world.
“We ask for patience and privacy as the family gathers at his bedside.”
Zafar’s touching statement came just before new photos taken at the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville, New York, were published.
It was also revealed that the celebrated author is on the ‘road to recovery’ and is expected to survive the attack.
Zafar posted a defiant post after the attack, referring to his father’s habit of speaking out
Rushdie (pictured in Los Angeles in 2013) has now been taken off a ventilator and can speak. It was feared he would be unable to speak after last week’s attack
Salman Rushdie was attacked before giving a speech to an audience in upstate New York. Here he is pictured on stage, just before the attack
The acclaimed author was rushed to hospital after being stabbed “10-15 times” on stage. Here he is pictured being taken to an air ambulance
Officer Andrew Wylie stated this afternoon, “It will take a long time; the injuries are serious, but his condition is improving.’
And Rushdie can now ‘talk and joke’ a friend who visited him confirmed this morning.
A judge ordered Matar to be held without bail after prosecutor Jason Schmidt said the defendant had deliberately put himself in a position to harm the author.
“This was a targeted, unprovoked, pre-planned attack on Mr. Rushdie,” Mr. Schmidt said.
Meanwhile, Rushdie’s comments to a German magazine, made two weeks ago but published in the wake of his stabbing, reveal the author’s relentless optimism in the wake of “scary times.”
Rushdie said death threats “have become more normal,” but the fatwa no longer scared him.
He explained: ‘A fatwa is a serious matter. Luckily we didn’t have internet then. The Iranians had faxed the fatwa to the mosques.
‘That was all a long time ago. My life is now very normal again.’
Iran in 1989 called on Muslims around the world to kill the Indian-born author after his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, was deemed blasphemous.
This afternoon, his agent Andrew Wylie said, “He’s off the ventilator, so the road to recovery has begun.
‘It will take a long time; the injuries are serious, but his condition is improving.’
He added that Rushdie had severed nerves in one of his arms, was likely to lose an eye and suffered damage to his liver.
Rushdie’s fourth book, pictured in February 1989, led to a fatwa edict for his assassination by the state of Iran. It has been ignored by frontline politicians since 1998
Matar pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault in New York.
Rushdie has two children from his four marriages – his other son is named Milan – but has been associated with many other women, including Indian model Riya Sen.
The acclaimed writer also told Stern that despite the “scary times” we live in — and the fact that the internet has made the world “infinitely more dangerous” — he no longer fears the fatwa.
Rushdie said, “I always tell people, don’t be afraid.
‘But the bad thing is that death threats have become more common. Not only politicians get them, even American teachers who take certain books off the syllabus.
“I think a lot of people today live with similar threats to the ones I had then. And the fax machines they used against me are more like a bicycle than a Ferrari compared to the Internet.’
Earlier this month, Rushdie, 75, had said his life had returned to ‘quite normal’ as fears of the fatwa faded.
Mr Rushdie came out of a ten-year hiatus in 1998 after incoming Iranian President Mohammad Khatamis said he no longer supported the fatwa.
But some Muslims continued to support Ayatollah Khamenei’s extreme edict – and the bounty on Rushdie’s head was increased to $3 million (£2.7 million).
Rushdie, who became a US citizen in 2016 and lives in New York City, said he was most concerned about threats to democracy in the United States.
Trump’s victory over the truth is most important there. His people believe they are being lied to by the others, not by him,” he said.
Hadi Matar, 24, arrives yesterday for a hearing at Chautauqua County Courthouse, NY. He pleaded not guilty to attempted murder
Rushdie added that he is optimistic about the future, saying: “I believe something very good is happening in the young generation. It is much more prone to activism. We see a generation aging that we urgently need now, a combative one.
“We need people who can organize and people who want to fight. fighters. For a society worth living in.
‘As an author, I also notice that young authors are becoming role models again – instead of the way they used to be, namely only the dead.’
And when asked if he was nostalgic, Rushdie said, “Not necessarily. I like history, but when it comes to my own life, I prefer to look ahead.’
Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie went into hiding for years after Iran received ‘spiritual’ death threat
Sir Salman Rushdie is a Booker Prize-winning author and novelist.
His writing is often based on the themes of connections and migrations between Western and Eastern civilizations.
In 1981 he won the Booker Prize for his second novel, Midnight’s Children. His writing has resulted in 30 book-length studies, and over 700 articles on his writing.
Rushdie’s writings have been widely acclaimed in the genres of magical realism and historical fiction.
He has lived in the US since 2000 and was named a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University in 2015.
He has been nominated five times for the Booker Prize, including for Midnight’s Children, in 1983 for Shame, in 1988 for The Satanic Versus, in 1995 for The Moor’s Last Sign and in 2019 for Quixote.
Salman Rushdie, 75, is an Indian-born author acclaimed for his writing in the genres of magical realism and historical fiction