Author Salman Rushdie has lost his sight in one eye and one of his hands is “incapacitated” following a stabbing attack in August, according to an interview given by his agent to a Spanish newspaper.
Rushdie, 75, underwent emergency surgery after he was stabbed several times before his scheduled lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York on August 12.
Staff members and guests then rushed onto the stage and held down the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, before a state trooper assigned to the event took him into custody, according to New York State Police.
Matar has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in the second degree, and second-degree assault, over the attack.
Speaking to El País, literary agent Andrew Wylie said, “[His wounds] were profound, but he’s [also] lost the sight of one eye … He had three serious wounds in his neck. One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso. So, it was a brutal attack.”
Wylie declined to tell the newspaper if Rushdie was still hospitalized and did not specify when he had last been updated on Rushdie’s condition, according to an English language write-up of the interview. He said the most important thing was the writer was going to live.
Wylie also told El País he and Rushdie had talked about the possibility of such an attack in the past. “The principal danger that he faced so many years after the fatwa was imposed is from a random person coming out of nowhere and attacking [him],” he said. “So, you can’t protect against that because it’s totally unexpected and illogical. It was like John Lennon’s murder.”
El Pais said the interview was conducted from a hotel suite Wednesday evening, during the Frankfurt book fair.
CNN has contacted Wylie but did not receive an immediate response.