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SALMAN RUSHDIE: ‘Loss of one eye upsets me every day’

SALMAN RUSHDIE: ‘Loss of one eye upsets me every day’

Indian-British author, Salman Rushdie, has opened up about the ongoing emotional struggle he faces every day following the loss of one eye.

The traumatic attack that made Rushdie lose one eye happened during a speaking engagement at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York in August 2022.

In a recent interview with the BBC on April 15, Rushdie revealed that the profound loss continues to affect him on a daily basis. “Losing one eye upsets me every day, he said.

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The author said his eyes “looked swollen and it was kinda hanging out of my face like a soft-boil egg.”

With his voice laden with emotions, he said, “And I’m blind.”

Rushdie said he’s using his new book, ‘Knife’ (mediations after an attempted murder), as a way of fighting back

Recalling how the assailant attacked him in the tragic incident that happened almost 2 years ago, the 76-year-old author said, “I couldn’t have fought him; I couldn’t have run away from him.”

Rushdie said he discovered the need for heightened caution while walking down the stairs, crossing streets, and even performing seemingly simple tasks like pouring water into a glass. However, he considers himself fortunate to have escaped without any brain damage.

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He indicated that his book is dedicated to “the man and women who saved my life.”

How Salman Rushdie lost his eye

Salman Rushdie lost sight in one eye as a result of a brutal attack he suffered while preparing to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state. The attack occurred on August 12, where Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and torso by a man named Hadi Matar.

The injuries sustained during this attack were severe and life-changing for Rushdie. According to his agent, Andrew Wylie, Rushdie’s wounds were profound, with three serious wounds in his neck, nerve damage that incapacitated one hand, and about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso. These injuries led to the loss of sight in one eye and the use of one hand for Rushdie.

After the attack, Rushdie underwent medical treatment for his injuries, including surgeries and rehabilitation. Despite the severity of the incident, Rushdie expressed gratitude towards the medical professionals who treated him and his family for their support during his recovery process. He mentioned that he had regained some feeling in his thumb and index finger, as well as in the bottom half of his palm after months of healing.

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However, Rushdie also shared that he was facing challenges related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the attack. He found it difficult to write due to a mental block and described experiencing a combination of blankness and difficulty producing meaningful content. This struggle impacted his ability to type effectively with his injured hand.

Rushdie attributed these writing difficulties to PTSD and acknowledged that he was still navigating through this mental obstacle. Despite these challenges, he remained optimistic about his recovery process and expressed determination to continue writing despite the setbacks caused by the attack.

Reason for Attack

Rushdie was attacked due to the fatwa issued against him by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 after the publication of “The Satanic Verses.”

The controversial content of his novel led to widespread outrage among certain groups who deemed it blasphemous, resulting in ongoing threats and ultimately culminating in the violent attack on Rushdie at Chautauqua Institution.

The fatwa called for Rushdie’s assassination, resulting in years of living under constant threat and fear for his life.


The investigation into the stabbing of Salman Rushdie was led by the New York State Police with assistance from the FBI and local authorities. The suspect, Hadi Matar, was charged with attempted murder and assault following the attack on Rushdie.


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