Salman Rushdie is back with his Sea of Stories and a million dollar photograph

Shaurya Thapa
Shaurya ThapaFeb 07, 2023 | 12:43

Salman Rushdie is back with his Sea of Stories and a million dollar photograph

Salman Rushdie's profile on The New Yorker revealed the author's whereabouts since last year's assassination attempt. Meanwhile, his new book drops on Feb 7 (photo-DailyO)

He has lost sight in one eye and can't use his one hand. He suffers from PTSD making it difficult for him to write. But the 75-year-old Booker winner Salman Rushdie is still alive and breathing. 

A stunning photograph captured by Richard Burbridge for The New Yorker's recent profile on Rushdie revealed how the controversial author looks like, the first proper glimpse the audience is getting ever since he survived the assassination attempt in August, 2022. 


No stranger to controversy ever since a fatwa (Islamic legal ruling) for his death was issued against him, the Satanic Verses author was meant to start a lecture at New York’s Chautauqua Institution on August 12, 2022 before 24-year-old New Jersey native Hadi Matar stabbed him with grave wounds. Rushdie had received stab injuries to the liver and hand, losing sight in one eye. 

(photo-Salman Rushdie's Twitter account)
(photo-Salman Rushdie's Twitter account)

The incident obviously shocked the literature world and Rushdie himself and going by his words to The New Yorker, the Midnight’s Children scribe is finding it hard to get back into a good mental space. Admitting that the incident left him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he adds that he finds it difficult to write again. To quote the article,

“I write, but it's a combination of blankness and junk, stuff that I write and that I delete the next day. I'm not out of that forest yet, really,"

Burbridge’s photograph is however doing the rounds on the Internet with many celebrating Rushdie’s return to the public while also wishing for his recovery. The monochrome image shows Rushdie wearing a pair of glasses like he usually does but this time with a blackened lens on the eye which he can no longer use. 


From the fatwa against Satanic Verses to being on Al-Qaeda’s hitlist, the copywriter-turned-author has faced numerous threats to his life. No wonder he also told The New Yorker that,

“I’ve always thought that my books are more interesting than my life. The world appears to disagree.”

Rushdie’s next book will be his fifteenth novel, Victory City, that is due to be published on February 7, 2023. However, given last year’s attack, the author is supposedly refraining from promoting his book in the public though he continues tweeting about it regularly. The book is set in the 14th century and describes a woman's rise as a ruler in a male-dominated society. 

As for Rushdie’s attacker, Matar was arrested on the day of the attack and charged with attempted murder the next day. Hailing from a Lebanese village notorious for its ties with the extremists organisation Hezbollah, his parents back home have told media outlets that they have severed ties with their son who seems to have “changed” since 2018. Hezbollah itself refused any association with the act and so did the Iranian government. 

Surviving this entire ordeal, the author who also seems to have a twisted sense of humour (he infamously called his ex-wife Padma Lakshmi a “bad investment” after her endometriosis made it difficult to have sex) doesn’t seem to be joking too much about the assassination attempt. Rather he feels thankful this time. 

“I’m lucky. What I really want to say is that my main overwhelming feeling is gratitude.”


Last updated: February 07, 2023 | 12:43
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