Salman Rushdie has branded his attacker an “idiot”.
‘The Satanic Verses’ writer, 75, was onstage at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York on 12 August 2022 when 24 year old Hadi Matar charged at him with a knife and stabbed him 15 times in the torso and neck, and the author said he now suffers PTSD and nightmares after the “colossal” assault.
Salman, who is still in recovery at home after six weeks in hospital following the attack, told The New Yorker about how Matar had given a newspaper interview from prison: “I don’t know what I think of him, because I don’t know him. All I’ve seen is his idiotic interview in the New York Post.
“Which only an idiot would do. I know that the trial is still a long way away. It might not happen until late next year. I guess I’ll find out some more about him then.”
Salman was pictured in The New Yorker article with his right eye blacked out by a darkened glasses lens and has been left with scars of his face and a drooping lower lip.
He suffered damage to his liver and to nerves in one arm following the attack and lost sight in his eye and use of a hand.
Salman added about his injuries: “Considering what happened, I’m not so bad… it was a colossal attack
“I’ve been better. But, considering what happened, I’m not so bad. As you can see, the big injuries are healed, essentially.
“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.
“There have been nightmares – not exactly the incident, but just frightening.
“Those seem to be diminishing. I’m fine. I’m able to get up and walk around.
“When I say I’m fine, I mean, there’s bits of my body that need constant check-ups. It was a colossal attack.”
Salman went on about struggling to write in the wake of the stabbing: “There is such a thing as PTSD, you know.
“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.
“I’ve simply never allowed myself to use the phrase ‘writer’s block.’
“Everybody has a moment when there’s nothing in your head. And you think, ‘Oh, well, there’s never going to be anything.’”
But the writer said about hoping he will again find inspiration: “One of the things about being 75 and having written 21 books is that you know that, if you keep at it, something will come.”
Salman also said about struggling to find TV shows he liked during his recovery he found the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix series “banal” and he only enjoyed watching the World Cup.
Matar said he hated Salman – who is still living under a $3 million fatwa following the 1988 publication of ‘The Satanic Verses’ which some Muslims consider blasphemous – as he had “attacked Islam”.