NPR reviews Salman Rushdie’s latest memoir, “Knife”

Knife, new memoir, NPR, Salman Rushdie

Renowned author Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on August 12, 2022. In his new memoir “Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder,” Rushdie reflects on the incident and its aftermath. Despite suffering lasting scars, including blindness in one eye, Rushdie recounts his recovery process, the support he received from loved ones, and his feelings towards his alleged attacker, Hadi Matar.

Matar, currently in custody and facing charges of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault, had his trial postponed after Rushdie’s announcement of his memoir. In “Knife,” Rushdie touches on various aspects of his life, including avoiding rehashing “The Satanic Verses,” advocating for freedom of speech, and his marriage to poet and novelist Rachel Eliza Griffiths.

Rushdie emphasizes the importance of freedom of speech, particularly criticizing progressives and the left for abandoning this principle. Furthermore, he delves into his marriage with Griffiths, highlighting her unwavering support during his recovery. Despite considering reaching out to his attacker in the memoir, Rushdie ultimately chooses a different path towards understanding, delving into an exercise of deep empathy that helps him find closure.

As he navigates through his journey post-attack, Rushdie hints at a possible documentary in the works, showcasing his thoughts and experiences during this challenging time. Through “Knife,” Rushdie provides readers with a glimpse into his life and mindset, offering insights into resilience, empathy, and the pursuit of artistic freedom.

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