Salman Rushdie breaks silence for first time since attack

Salman Rushdie’s sense of humour remains intact says family

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Speaking to The New Yorker, Mr Rushdie said: “I’ve been better. But, considering what happened, I’m not so bad…the big injuries have healed.

“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.”

He added: “There have been nightmares – not exactly the incident, but just frightening. Those seem to be diminishing. When I say I’m fine, I mean, there’s bits of my body that need constant check-ups.”

Although the main physical injuries have healed or are healing, Mr Rushdie said the psychological wounds would take more time.

He told the New Yorker he has PTSD and is struggling to write new material.

He said: “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.”

As to what he thinks of his attacker, Mr Rushdie said: “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.”

Matar was interviewed by the New York Post last year on why he tried to kill Rushie, long wanted dead by Iran.

Matar told the Post: “I don’t like the person [Rushdie]. I don’t think he’s a very good person, I don’t like him. I don’t like him very much.

“He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief system.”

Matar is currently in Chautauaqua County Jail awaiting trial. Iran has denied all involvement in the attack.

On February 14, 1989, the then Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie following the publication of Satanic Verses.

The book was considered by some to be a blasphemous attack against Islam, in part leading to the fatwa. As a result, Rushdie had to temporarily go into hiding.

Despite the death of Khomeini, the fatwa remained in place says The New York Times.

Mr Rushdie currently remains in the United States where he is currently promoting his new book, Victory City, completed before the attack.

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