About Salman Rushdie's new memoir 'Knife': NPR

Author Salman Rushdie at PEN America's annual gala on May 18, 2023.

Ted Shaffrey/AP


hide caption

change caption

Ted Shaffrey/AP


Author Salman Rushdie at PEN America's annual gala on May 18, 2023.

Ted Shaffrey/AP

On August 12, 2022, famous author Salman Rushdie was stabbed. He stood on stage at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, about to deliver a lecture “on the importance of protecting writers from harm,” Rushdie writes in his new memoir: Knife: Meditations after attempted murder.

Rushdie, the 76-year-old writer of The Satanic Verses, Midnight's children, Victory city, and more, survived the attack. But not without permanent scars, including blindness in one eye. Since the attack, he's done a handful of interviews here and there, but he's mostly kept to himself. In Knife, he describes everything that has happened in his life and in his mind since the attack. He talks about the recovery process, the support he received from loved ones and his feelings about his alleged attacker, Hadi Matar.

Knife cover
Knife cover

Matar is in custody at the Chautauqua County Jail and charged with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault. The judge in his case effectively postponed Matar's trial after Rushdie announced his memoirs, to give Matar's lawyers a chance to see what was in the book.

The book comes out on Tuesday. This is what you can expect:

1. Rushdie has no interest in a new trial The Satanic Verses

Rushdie makes only a few mentions of his 1988 book, which prompted Iran's then-supreme leader to call for Rushdie's death. And, Rushdie notes Knifeit was not just the Muslim world that criticized Rushdie for writing the book. He calls other names, including former ones US President Jimmy Carter and the writers Roald Dahl and Germaine Greer. In addition, Rushdie writes that he said everything he had to say Satanic verses in his previous memoirs, Joseph Anton.“If anyone is looking for repentance, you can stop reading here,” he writes Knife. “My novels can take care of themselves.”

2. The book is about freedom of expression, especially aimed at the left

Rushdie instead saves his argumentative energy to appeal for freedom of expression – an ideal that he believes progressives and the left have left behind to their detriment. “This move away from First Amendment principles allowed this venerable piece of the Constitution to be co-opted by the right,” he writes. Rushdie had a long background in advocating freedom of expression. He is the former president of PEN America, the literary rights advocacy group, and co-founder of that organization's World Voices Festival. His first public appearance after being attacked was at a PEN Gala in his honor. And the attack has only furthered his positions. “Art is not a luxury. It constitutes the essence of our humanity and requires no special protection other than the right to exist,” he writes.

3. It is also a book about marriage

In 2021, Rushdie quietly married poet and novelist Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Rushdie is tender when writing about the early days of their relationship, saying he wasn't looking for romance. “And then it came up behind me and hit me behind the ear, and I was powerless to resist.”

It's Griffiths who helps Rushdie through the many doctor visits, physical therapy appointments, sleepless nights, mysterious ailments and piling up bills (a small takeaway might be, even world-famous authors can't avoid unexpected medical bills), while at the same time taking care of her own bills cares. writing career. There are difficult moments in the book that they have to go through together, but there are also regular moments that could be scenes from another marriage.

4. He tries to understand his attacker

Rushdie never mentions Matar by name in the book. And he keeps a certain distance from him. There is a brief example in the memoir where Rushdie toys with the idea of ​​contacting Matar, but he quickly decides that is a bad idea. Instead, Rushdie takes a different route to understanding Matar, which we won't spoil here. But it's an exercise in deep empathy – one that seems to help Rushdie find at least some closure.

5. A possible documentary is on the way.

Early in the book, Rushdie and Griffiths begin filming Rushdie's thoughts. The plan seems to be to take all the footage to an experienced filmmaker who can make something of it. But no announcements have been made on that front yet.

Related Posts

LeVar Burton Talks His Changing Definition of Success on NPR's 'Wild Card' : NPR

Actor LeVar Burton found tremendous success early in his life. In a round of Wildcard Along with Rachel Martin, he says his definition of success has changed over time. AILSA…

NBA Signs 11-Year Media Rights Deal With Disney, NBC, Amazon : NPR

An NBA logo is seen on an official game ball before a game, Feb. 1, 2014, in New York. The NBA said Wednesday it will not accept Warner Bros. Discovery's…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

Not to inflame tempers, but chickens blush

  • July 25, 2024
Not to inflame tempers, but chickens blush

Chinese EV startups spend more on research than Tesla

  • July 25, 2024
Chinese EV startups spend more on research than Tesla

Biden explains post-election exit, praises Harris over Trump

  • July 25, 2024
Biden explains post-election exit, praises Harris over Trump

'Inside Out 2' is the highest-grossing animated film ever, surpassing 'Frozen 2'

  • July 25, 2024
'Inside Out 2' is the highest-grossing animated film ever, surpassing 'Frozen 2'

LeVar Burton Talks His Changing Definition of Success on NPR's 'Wild Card' : NPR

  • July 25, 2024
LeVar Burton Talks His Changing Definition of Success on NPR's 'Wild Card' : NPR

Doctors react to Biden's live address to nation, concerned about 'lack of emotion'

  • July 25, 2024
Doctors react to Biden's live address to nation, concerned about 'lack of emotion'

USWNT defender Tierna Davidson on 'difficult situation' created by Korbin Albert's anti-LGBTQ posts

  • July 25, 2024
USWNT defender Tierna Davidson on 'difficult situation' created by Korbin Albert's anti-LGBTQ posts

South Korea GDP, Wall Street Sell-Off

  • July 25, 2024
South Korea GDP, Wall Street Sell-Off

This Retirement Misstep Could Cost You More Than $100,000 in Savings. Here’s What You Need to Know.

  • July 25, 2024
This Retirement Misstep Could Cost You More Than $100,000 in Savings. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Nvidia's latest AI offering could spark a gold rush for custom models

  • July 25, 2024
Nvidia's latest AI offering could spark a gold rush for custom models

Scouting Report for U.S. National Team Opponents at the 2024 Olympics: What to Know About Zambia and Barbra Banda as the U.S. Begins Its Journey

  • July 25, 2024
Scouting Report for U.S. National Team Opponents at the 2024 Olympics: What to Know About Zambia and Barbra Banda as the U.S. Begins Its Journey