Salman Rushdie: Stephen King, Nigella Lawson and more react as author stabbed onstage in New York

‘The Satanic Verses’ author was stabbed in the neck while at a literary event

Louis Chilton
Saturday 13 August 2022 08:14 BST
Author Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in New York

Figures from across the literary world have reacted in shock to news that Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage at an event in New York.

The author, who who was once the subject of a fatwa for his writing, was stabbed in the neck while on stage in western New York earlier today (12 August), State Police said.

According to an AP reporter who witnessed the attack, Rushdie was on stage about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution when the assailant stormed the stage and stabbed him.

In a press conference held roughly an hour after the incident, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said that Rushdie was alive, and had been taken to a local hospital by helicopter.

You can follow the latest updates here.

The incident has prompted an outpouring of shock and support on social media from writers and fellow novellists.

Horror novellist Stephen King wrote: “I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”

Neil Gaiman wrote: “I’m shocked and distressed to see my friend @SalmanRushdie has been attacked before a talk. He’s a good man and a brilliant one and I hope he’s okay.”

Salman Rushdie is assisted after being attacked onstage
Salman Rushdie is assisted after being attacked onstage (via REUTERS)

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, wrote: “Horrifying news. Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok.”

Comedian and author David Baddiel wrote: “It’s appalling what has happened to Salman Rushdie. It’s also appalling that there are people who will think he brought it on himself or somehow deserved it.

Writer Jeff Sharlet wrote: “Very sad to hear about Rushdie, for all the obvious reasons & because in my very limited interaction w/ him he’s far more of a mensch than many superstar writers. When he came to Dartmouth he was amazingly generous with his time w/ undergrads. Hope he recovers quickly.”

Author Sathnam Sanghera commented: “Salman Rushdie. Passage from Midnight’s Children in my last ever exam. Poster of The Moor’s Last Sigh had place on my (pretentious) student bedroom wall. Quote from Satanic Verses opens EmpireLand. Lots of British Asian writers wouldn’t be writers without him. Pray he’s well.”

Food writer and former deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times, Nigella Lawson, added: “Such shocking news of Salman Rushdie having been stabbed. This is horrific. Am distraught. Please, please let him be ok.”

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