“I just stood there like a pinata”: Salman Rushdie Remembers Attack On Him While Discussing Memoir Knife

Salman Rushdie's new memoir, Knife, recounts the brutal attack that left him blind in one eye. In this memoir, he reflects on a life shaped by controversy and resilience.

Published on Apr 16, 2024  |  05:19 PM IST |  25.5K
Salman Rushdie Remembers Attack On Him
Salman Rushdie discloses his thoughts in Knife about the attack ( Twitter )

Salman Rushdie, the British-American author, has always been an object of dispute throughout his life and work due to violent events. Consequently, the renowned writer publishes Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder, his memoir which explores the traumatizing incident that made him lose sight in one eye as it highlights his amazing path as a global icon fighting for freedom of expression.

 Salman Rushdie discloses his thoughts in Knife about the attack ( Twitter )

A target of controversy

Since its publication in 1988, The Satanic Verses by Rushdie has continually exposed him to death threats because many viewed them as blasphemous against Islam. As ruled by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, it was blasphemous resulting in constant criticism and violence with even the author’s being endangered.

In August 2022 during a public event, Hadi Matar attacked Rushdie who suffered greatly including becoming blind in one eye. On recollection of the moment, he wonders why he did not defend himself or escape from danger. It is a shocking moment captured; where sudden violence is almost incomprehensible to the author.

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 Salman Rushdie discloses his thoughts in Knife about the attack ( Twitter )

Fighting back through words

Rushdie still hopes to come face-to-face with what happened to him despite having experienced trauma and physical injuries. In writing this memoir, he wants to recover his story in order to make it known that he was strong enough in times of adversity. 

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He says in his memoir as released by The Guardian, “Why didn't I fight? Why didn't I run? I just stood there like a pinata and let him smash me…It didn't feel dramatic, or particularly awful. It just felt probable... matter-of-fact.” 

His tale is therefore proof that true survival can be found within people who fight to live yet do so through stories. This memoir by Salman Rushdie stands a testament to human resilience amidst unbearable difficulties.

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Shovan has a Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism degree from Calcutta University. He loves to live in the

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