Sir Salman Rushdie describes moment leading up to stabbing in 2022

Author Sir Salman Rushdie has described the moment before he was stabbed on stage in New York state in 2022.

The acclaimed novelist, 76, read an excerpt from his upcoming memoir during an interview with American journalist Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes on CBS, which will air on Sunday.

Reading from his book, Sir Salman said: “In the corner of my right eye, the last thing my right eye would ever see.

“I saw the man in black running towards me, down the right hand side of the seating area. Black clothes, black face mask.

“He was coming in hard and low, a squat missile.

“I confess I had sometimes imagined my assassin rising up in some public forum or other and coming for me in just this way.

“So my first thought when I saw this murderous shape rushing towards me was ‘So it’s you. Here you are’.”

He told Cooper: “It felt like something coming out of the distant past and trying to drag me back in time, back into that distant past in order to kill me.”

“It feels like a miracle”, he said.

“And I certainly don’t feel that some hand reached down from the skies and guarded me.

“But I do think something happened which wasn’t supposed to happen.”

Sir Salman, who suffered severe, life-changing injuries after the incident, will release the book, titled Knife: Meditations After An Attempted Murder, with Penguin Random House on April 16.

On April 21, he will discuss his book and the attack that left him blind in one eye and with a damaged hand as part of a series of events for the Southbank Centre’s Spring Literature and Spoken Word Season.

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Sir Salman Rushdie after being made a Companion of Honour by the Princess Royal, during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A man has been charged with attempted murder and assault.

His 1988 book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since it was published as many Muslims view it as blasphemous, and its publication prompted Iran’s then-leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa calling for his death.

Sir Salman began his writing career in the early 1970s and his 1983 novel Midnight’s Children, about the birth of India, won the Booker Prize in 1981.

In 1998, the Iranian government withdrew its support for the death sentence and Sir Salman gradually returned to public life, even appearing as himself in the 2001 hit film Bridget Jones’s Diary.

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