'Knife': Salman Rusdhie narrates the attack that almost cost him his life

The 76-year-old writer recounts the attack he suffered in New York in which he lost an eye. He claims he had a premonitory dream.

This Tuesday, April 16, British writer Salman Rushdie will unveil his new work, Knife: Meditations after an attempted murder, in which he tells of the attack he suffered almost two years ago in New York in which he lost an eye.

The 76-year-old, a British writer born in India, said in an interview on the CBS program 60 Minutes that he had dreamed that he had a premonitory dream that he ignored. Rushdie revealed that he had dreamed that he was "attacked in an amphitheater" shortly before traveling to Chautauqua, the town where he was going to give a lecture when he was savagely attacked.

I said to my wife, Eliza, 'I don't want to go' because of the dream. And then I thought, 'Don't be silly, it's a dream,'

In his "heartbreaking" story, according to the Random House publishing house, which releases it this Tuesday, Rushdie tells in just over 200 pages how he survived the dozen stab wounds that a young man of Lebanese origin inflicted on him with a knife when he was about to pronounce the conference.

Rushdie, who was initially "irritated" to write about the attack, finally decided to do so in this story written in the first person.

The attack

The attack on Salman Rushdie occurred in August 2022. The aggressor, a 24 years old Muslim called Hadi Matar, is a supporter of the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Guard. He faces 25 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder, plus another seven years for stabbing Henry Reese, another writer who tried to prevent the attack on Rushdie.

Rushdie gained international notoriety when Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a death sentence against him in the form of a fatwa after the publication of The Satanic Verses, a work that the fanatic Ayatollah considered blasphemous. Khomeini never withdrew his fatwa and Iran even offered 3 million dollars to whoever murdered Rushdie.


Knife is the second work published by the novelist with dual British-American nationality since the attack. Before that, he published his fifteenth novel, Victory City, a historical epic that he had finished writing before the attack.