Sales of The Satanic Verses surge after Salman Rushdie stabbing

Author’s works are dominating Amazon’s bestseller lists days after his stabbing

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 16 August 2022 00:30 BST
Iran blames Salman Rushdie after knife attack in New York

Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses is surging up bestseller lists amid renewed interest in the author’s works after he was brutally stabbed in western New York state on Friday.

The paperback edition of the magical realism novel sits atop Amazon’s contemporary literature and fiction chart, is second in the censorship and politics category and was the 18th bestselling book overall on the e-commerce site on Monday.

A Kindle ebook version of the book was also enjoying strong sales, reaching number one in several categories including fiction satire, and censorship and politics.

The Kindle ebook was 23rd on Amazon’s chart of Kindle bestsellers.

Rushdie’s other works were also proving popular, with Midnight’s Children reaching 10th on the contemporary literature and fiction list.

Versions of his 2012 memoir Joseph Anton, which chronicled his decade of life under police protection, occupied the four top spots on the religious intolerance and persecution list.

The Satanic Verses ignited a wave of controversy after its publication in 1988 for its depiction of the Prophet Muhammed.

Iran’s former spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa on Rushdie the following year, placing a $3m bounty on the author’s head.

Salman Rushdie holds a copy of his Quichotte in 2019

Amazon’s bestseller charts are updated hourly. Amazon’s Charts, which gives a clearer picture of sales, are updated weekly and will give a clearer picture of sales.

At Strand Bookstore in New York City, staff also reported a spike in sales and interest of Mr Rushdie’s works.

“Honestly, I feel like people just came here yesterday because they wanted to talk about how they felt about what happened,” manager Katie Silvernail told AFP.

Rushdie spent nearly 10 years under the protection of British security forces. A Japanese translator was stabbed to death in an a still unsolved murder in 1991, while a Norwegian publisher narrowly survived after he was shot several times outside his home in 1993.

Rushdie was stabbed up to 10 times as he was about to deliver a speech at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on Friday.

He was airlifted to hospital and suffered severed nerves in his arm, a punctured liver and may lose an eye, his agent Andrew Wylie told the New York Times.

His son Zafar said in an update on Sunday that his father had been taken off a ventilator and was speaking, but remained in a critical condition.

New Jersey man Hadi Matar, who has been charged with attempted murder, was reportedly in contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard over social media prior to the attack. He has pleaded not guilty.

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