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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Peter Sblendorio

Salman Rushdie recovering but still struggles to write after NY attack left him half-blind, traumatized

Author Salman Rushdie is making progress after an attack last August left him badly injured, but he’s still struggling to write, he said in his first interview since the incident.

The award-winning novelist required surgery after being stabbed onstage before an Aug. 12 lecture at the Chautauqua Institution near Buffalo.

“There is such a thing as P.T.S.D., you know,” Rushdie told The New Yorker. “I’ve found it very, very difficult to write. I sit down to write, and nothing happens. I write, but it’s a combination of blankness and junk, stuff that I write and that I delete the next day. I’m not out of that forest yet, really.”

The Indian-born Rushdie, 75, reportedly suffered stab wounds to his neck and face, left hand and abdomen. The attack left him blind in his right eye.

He now has trouble typing due to a “lack of feeling” in his fingertips and writes “more slowly,” he told the magazine.

“The big injuries are healed, essentially,” Rushdie said. “I have feeling in my thumb and index finger and in the bottom half of the palm. I’m doing a lot of hand therapy, and I’m told that I’m doing very well.”

Authorities identified the attacker as Hadi Matar, who pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges. Matar is from Fairview, New Jersey.

Rushdie has authored more than a dozen novels, including 1981′s “Midnight’s Children,” which won the prestigious Booker Prize.

His 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” was accused of blasphemy within the Muslim community, with Iran issuing a fatwa calling for his death. Rushdie went into hiding and riots led to at least 45 deaths. The book’s Japanese translator was fatally stabbed in 1991.


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