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Salman Rushdie says he is writing book about near-fatal knife attack

Salman Rushdie is engaged on a ebook in regards to the assault that robbed him of his proper eye, he mentioned in certainly one of his first public appearances since he was repeatedly stabbed onstage at a literary competition in upstate New York final yr.

Talking on the FT Weekend Competition in Washington on Saturday, the novelist, 75, mentioned he was nonetheless “slightly overwhelmed up” however “mainly high-quality”, almost one yr after the try on his life.

Sporting glasses with a darkened proper lens, Rushdie appeared on the occasion by way of video hyperlink.

“I’m not studying as quick as I used to however . . . I’m writing what I feel might be a reasonably quick ebook about what occurred,” Rushdie mentioned in a wide-ranging dialog that explored lots of the creator’s novels, from Midnight’s Youngsters to Victory Metropolis, his most up-to-date work which was revealed earlier this yr.

Rushdie has for many years confronted persecution for his work and lived beneath risk of dying.

The Satanic Verses, first revealed in 1988, generated controversy for the way it depicted the Islamic prophet Mohammed. The ebook was banned in Iran and the nation’s supreme chief Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie.

Following the dying risk, Rushdie went into hiding and lived beneath armed guard.

After the assault final yr US secretary of state Antony Blinken accused the Iranian authorities of inciting violence in opposition to Rushdie and castigated Tehran for “gloat[ing]” in regards to the try on his life.

Rushdie made gentle of his critics on Saturday, saying: “If my work has enemies, they’re in all probability the precise enemies to have.”

When requested what his recommendation can be to younger aspiring writers, Rushdie replied: “I might say, do what you need to do and don’t be scared.”

Rushdie has largely been absent from the general public eye within the final yr as he recovered from the assault on his life. He made a uncommon in-person look in New York final week to just accept the Centenary Braveness Award from PEN America, the non-profit organisation that advocates for freedom of expression.

“There’s lots of people in a whole lot of methods proper now attempting to place fences round what’s OK to do and what’s not OK to do . . . if something goes to result in the dying of the novel, that might be it,” Rushdie warned attendees on the FT Competition on Saturday.

“We now have to say our fact in our manner and supply it to the world,” he added.