Agent on Rushdie: 'The News Is Not Good'

Author will likely lose an eye, suffered severed nerves in arm, damaged liver, says Andrew Wylie
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2022 6:00 AM CDT
Agent on Rushdie: 'The News Is Not Good'
This still image from video shows Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, NJ, at left, being escorted from the stage as people tend to author Salman Rushdie, center right, at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY, on Friday.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – One day after he was stabbed while onstage at New York state's Chautauqua Institution to give a lecture, Salman Rushdie is hooked up to a ventilator and not able to talk, his agent says, per the BBC. "The news is not good," Andrew Wylie told the New York Times on Friday evening. "Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged."

Rushdie was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, authorities say. The suspect in the attack has been IDed as 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, NJ. Matar was born in the United States to Lebanese parents who emigrated from Yaroun, the mayor of that village tells the AP. The president of the Chautauqua Institution says that Matar had a pass to be on the institution's grounds. The AP notes that Matar was born a full 10 years after the release of The Satanic Verses, the novel for which Rushdie had a fatwa issued against him calling for his death.

Meanwhile, Ralph Henry Reese, the moderator on the stage with Rushdie when the attack took place, was treated for an injury to his face and released from a local hospital on Friday afternoon. In an email to the Times, he calls Rushdie "one of the great defenders of freedom of speech and freedom of creative expression" and notes "the fact that this attack could occur in the United States is indicative of the threats to writers from many governments and from many individuals and organizations." (Read more Salman Rushdie stories.)

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