Salman Rushdie has reappeared in public for the first time in New York after being attacked with a knife in the United States during a literary festival last summer. The occasion was the gala organized on the evening of Thursday 18 May by the Pen Club America, an organization that fights for freedom of speech and for writers’ rights. The famous novelist of Indian origin, naturalized British and US citizen, who has lived in New York for some time, received an honorary award for the occasion from the Pen Club America, of which he is former president.
The writer: “Terrorism must not terrorize us”
75-year-old Rushdie, who wore glasses with a black lens over his right eye that was injured in the bombing, was photographed for the first time on the red carpet at the American Museum of Natural History near Central Park in Manhattan. His presence had not been announced and his presence came as a surprise to the 700 guests at the gala. Pen Club America, “an organization working for freedom of expression, has never been more important,” said Salman Rushdie. “Terrorism must not terrify us. Violence must not discourage us. The fight for freedom continues,” said the writer in French, Spanish and English.
The dynamics of the attack of August 12, 2022
On August 12 Rushdie had been invited to a literary festival in Chautauqua, a town in upstate New York: while he was speaking, a young Lebanese-American suspected of Iranian Shiite sympathies climbed onto the stage and attacked him, hitting a dozen times with a knife. The attacker was soon thereafter detained by conference attendees and policemen, arrested, charged and jailed pending trial.
Rushdie suffers from PTSD
“If it weren’t for these people, I wouldn’t be here today. I was the target that day, but they were heroes. I owe them my life, they saved me,” said Salman Rushdie of his rescuers . In October, Rushdie’s literary agent Andrew Wylie revealed that the writer has lost vision in one eye and mobility in one hand. In February, on the occasion of the launch of his latest novel, “Victory City” (published in Italy by Mondadori), Rushdie had declared in an interview that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.