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Writer Salman Rushdie stabbed – risks losing an eye

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es Vienna, August 13, 2022 (UPDATED 08/19/21 – would-be assassin in court)

Eyewitness describes horrific knife attack on Rushdie, 75, in Chautauqua, upstate New York, last night. There are ripples of “shock and horror” through the literary world. Sir Salman is now on a ventilator and may lose an eye. Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, issued this statement:

“PEN America is reeling …at word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie, who was reportedly stabbed multiple times while on stage speaking at the Chautauqua Institute.  We can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil.

“Just hours before the attack, on Friday morning, Salman had emailed me to help with placements for Ukrainian writers in need of safe refuge from the grave perils they face.  Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered….Our thoughts and passions now lie with our dauntless Salman, wishing him a full and speedy recovery.  We hope and believe fervently that his essential voice cannot and will not be silenced.”

The novelist Ian McEwan echoed his peers in calling the attack on a friend who had been “an inspirational defender of persecuted writers and journalists…These are the freedoms that underpin all our rights and liberties.”

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