Author Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand following an attack on him at a literary event in western New York in August, his agent Andrew Wylie told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Sunday.
In an interview with the newspaper, Wylie described the extent of injuries suffered by The Satanic Verses writer.
“[His wounds] were profound, but he’s [also] lost the sight of one eye,” Wylie said. “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.”
On August 12, Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen as he was being introduced at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state. Wylie had then said the author’s liver and nerves in an arm were damaged in the attack. Rushdie was taken off the ventilator on August 13.
Wylie on Sunday told the newspaper that he could not answer whether Rushdie was still in the hospital or discuss his whereabouts. “He’s going to live...That’s the important thing,” he added.
The agent also said that he and Rushdie had discussed the danger of a “random person coming out of nowhere and attacking” him as a fatwa, a religious edict, was issued against the author by Iran.
“So, you can’t protect against that because it’s totally unexpected and illogical,” he added. “It was like [singer] John Lennon’s murder.”
The Beatles member was shot to death outside his apartment building in Manhattan in December 1980.
Rushdie has faced several death threats for his book The Satanic Verses published in 1988. In 1989, Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued the fatwa, asking Muslims to kill Rushdie.
Rushdie’s attacker was identified as Hadi Matar, a resident of New Jersey who was arrested from the scene. He has been incarcerated after pleading not guilty to attempted murder and assault.
In an interview with The New York Post in August, Matar had said he does not like Rushdie and described Khomeini as “a great person”.
The 24-year-old added, “I read a couple pages [of The Satanic Verses]. I didn’t read the whole thing cover to cover.”
Iran, however, has denied being involved in the attack.