The British writer of Indian origin Salman Rushdie has reappeared publicly several months after he was stabbed during a presentation in the U.S. city of New York at the hands of a young Lebanese follower of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Following the attack last August, in which he received up to twelve stab wounds to his face, neck, liver, chest and abdomen, Rushdie, 75, has gone blind in his right eye, has difficulty writing and sometimes has “terrifying” nightmares, the writer said in an interview with The New Yorker.

“Well, you know, I’ve been better. But considering what happened, I’m not too bad,” Rushdie said after being asked about his mood, confessing that he has feeling in his thumb and index finger and does hand exercises in an effort to get back to writing.

However, since the attack, the writer who spent years living under threat from Iran for his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ — published in 1998 and considered blasphemous by Iranian authorities, who issued a decree calling for his death — has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I sit down to write and nothing happens. I write, but it’s a combination of emptiness and garbage, things I write and erase the next day,” relates Rushdie, who never had such a block despite suffering years of threats and denunciations.

As for his nightmares, they have been diminishing over time and have not been exactly about the incident, although they have been “terrifying”, a trance that has not always been easy for him, as he has confessed.

Meanwhile, he has noted with sadness that sales of his book ‘The Satanic Verses’ skyrocketed after the stabbing, as if the author was more popular when he was in danger.

“Now that I almost died, everyone loves me,” he has lamented. “That was my mistake, back then. I not only lived but tried to live well. Bad mistake. Getting stabbed 15 times, much better,” he has ironized during his interview with the aforementioned magazine.

Rushdie was on stage when he was approached by a young man dressed in black and carrying a knife. The alleged assailant, Hadi Matar, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and attempted murder. About his assailant, the writer has assured that he is “an idiot”, although he confessed that he did not feel anger.

“I have tried very hard over the years to avoid recriminations and bitterness (…) One of the ways I have dealt with all this is to look forward and not backward. What happens tomorrow is more important than what happened yesterday,” he said.

Matar is suspected of sympathizing in social networks with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a country that declared in 1989 a ‘fatwa’ to kill the writer for his book ‘The Satanic Verses’, published a year earlier and considered an act of heresy in the Islamic republic.


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