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Salman Rushdie says he struggles with writer’s block and PTSD in first major interview since attack

Salman Rushdie says he struggles with writer’s block and PTSD in first major interview since attack

Salman Rushdie doesn’t keep in mind a lot concerning the second he was attacked final August, simply earlier than he was to offer a lecture in western New York.

What he is aware of concerning the incident – that he was stabbed at the very least a dozen instances in 27 seconds – he has gleaned from information experiences.

“I wasn’t counting,” he joked, in an interview with The New Yorker editor David Remnick, whose profile of Rushdie is printed in this week’s challenge.

Rushdie spoke with Remnick on “The New Yorker Radio Hour” podcast, in an episode launched at the moment and it’s Rushdie’s first major interview since the attack. (“The New Yorker Radio Hour” is a co-production with WNYC Studios, which, like Gothamist, is part of New York Public Radio.)

Rushdie was additionally selling his upcoming novel, “Victory City,” out Feb. 7. He accomplished the ebook simply two weeks earlier than the stabbing, however mentioned he’s hardly achieved any publicity for it.

Largely, he mentioned, he’s centered on getting again to a lifetime of studying and writing, one he had earlier than Aug. 12, 2022.

“I’m trying to slowly get back to a writer’s life,” Rushdie mentioned.

That effort has been made more durable by bodily and emotional accidents. Since being stabbed, Rushdie has misplaced imaginative and prescient in his left eye and feeling in the fingertips of his left hand. He mentioned he reads on an iPad, the place he can alter the dimensions of the kind. The worst accidents, he advised Remnick, have been to his neck and the suitable aspect of his face. He additionally sustained chest wounds and injury to his liver.

He mentioned he now experiences nightmares, although he doesn’t dream particularly concerning the stabbing.

“There is such a thing as PTSD,” Rushdie mentioned.

The prolific writer – who has printed greater than a dozen novels – mentioned that the attack has left him with writer’s block.

I’ve discovered it very, very troublesome to put in writing,” Rushdie mentioned. “I sit there to write and nothing happens.”

“It’s a combination of blankness and junk — stuff that I write that I delete the next day,” Rushdie added. “I’m not out of that forest yet.”

Rushdie’s look on “The New Yorker Radio Hour” got here six months after a New Jersey man stabbed Rushdie repeatedly onstage on the Chautauqua Establishment because the writer was set to talk about america as a refuge for exiled writers.

The incident revived curiosity in one other time Rushdie’s life was threatened: In 1989, the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini positioned a fatwa on Rushdie, following the publication of his novel “The Satanic Verses.” The ebook stays banned in a number of Muslim-majority nations.

In 1989, Rushdie had been residing in London; he went into hiding for a number of years earlier than finally rejoining public life in New York Metropolis.

The assailant’s motives in the August attack have been deemed unclear by legislation enforcement authorities.

The Iranian authorities denied involvement in Rushdie’s stabbing final summer time, although Nasser Kanaani, spokesperson for Iran’s Ministry of International Affairs, blamed “Salman Rushdie and his supporters” including that the novelist “exposed himself to the anger and ire of the people.”

In “The New Yorker Radio Hour” interview, Remnick requested if Rushdie had any regrets about his decisions — significantly as they associated to the fatwa that eternally altered his life.

“Three quarters of my life as a writer has happened since the fatwa,” Rushdie mentioned, insisting he was at peace with them.

“I mean, in a way, you can’t regret your life,” Rushdie mentioned. “Because without your life, you wouldn’t have had your life.”

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