Terrible day for authors everywhere, say Salman Rushdie’s peers after NY attack
Rushdie faced death threats and went into hiding for nearly a decade after his book The Satanic Verses was published in 1988, reports say.
Moments after the 75-year-old Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie was attacked on a stage in New York, several celebrated authors took to Twitter to express their concern.
Stephen King, the author of several horror books, including ‘It’ and ‘The Shining’, took to Twitter and wrote ‘I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.’
Delhi-based author-historian Willian Dalrymple said it was a terrible day for literature. “A terrible day for literature, for freedom of speech and for authors everywhere. Poor poor Salman: I pray he's not hurt and recovers quickly,” he wrote.
Expressing her shock, Bangladeshi-Swedish writer Taslima Nasreen, who too lives in exile like Rushdie, said she worried about the safety of those ‘citical of Islam’. “I just learned that Salman Rushdie was attacked in New York. I am really shocked. I never thought it would happen. He has been living in the West, and he has been protected since 1989. If he is attacked, anyone who is critical of Islam can be attacked. I am worried.”
British novelist Hari Mohan Nath Kunzru, better known Hari Kunzru, said that Rushdie was “determined to live his life as if there were no threat, but this possibility has always been at the back of the minds of all of his friends”.
Indian writer Amritav Ghosh wished Rushdie a speedy recovery and tweeted: "Horrified to learn that Salman Rushdie has been attacked at a speaking event in upstate New York. Wish him a speedy recovery."
Meanwhile, the US senator of New York Chuck Schumer called the incident a ‘shocking and appalling attack on freedom of speech and thought.’ “I hope Mr. Rushdie quickly and fully recovers and the perpetrator experiences full accountability and justice,” he added.
The Mumbai-born novelist was speaking at an event at the Chautauqua Institution when the suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie and an interviewer. He reportedly stabbed Rushdie in the neck. The author was then transported by helicopter to a local hospital.
New York governor Kathy Hochul says she has directed police to assist "however needed" with the investigation into the stabbing. “Our thoughts are with Salman & his loved ones following this horrific event,” she wrote on Twitter.
Rushdie faced death threats and went into hiding for nearly a decade after his book The Satanic Verses was published in 1988. A year after the book's publication, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini offered a $3million reward to whoever executes Rushdie, BBC reported.