“So it was a brutal attack,” Wylie said in the interview, adding that the injuries were “deep”.
Wylie declined to say whether Rushdie remains in hospital, explaining that he could not give any information on the author’s whereabouts.
“He’s going to live,” Wylie told the newspaper, adding, “That’s the most important thing.”
Wylie’s office did not immediately respond to a Washington Post request for comment on Sunday.
At around 11 a.m. on August 12, Rushdie had just taken the stage for an interview at Chautauqua Institution when a man ran on stage and attacked Rushdie and her interviewer, Henry Reese, who suffered a facial injury that required a short hospital stay. Rushdie, who police say had been stabbed in the neck and abdomen, was airlifted to hospital and put on a ventilator.
In the following days, after Rushdie was taken off the ventilator, Wylie says La Poste that Rushdie’s injuries were serious. He told The Associated Press that Rushdie suffered liver and nerve damage in one arm, adding that the author may lose an eye.
Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from New Jersey, was arrested during the attack and charged with attempted murder and assault. He pleaded not guilty.
After the publication in 1988 of Rushdie’s fourth novel,satanic versesIranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini denounced the novel’s treatment of Islam as blasphemous and issued a fatwa, or religious decree, calling for Rushdie’s assassination. A bounty of $1 million was put on his head – an amount that would reach over $3 million over the years.
Rushdie went into hiding for years. Bookstores that sold the novel were attacked. Two translators of the book — one Italian and one Japanese — were victims of separate stab wounds in 1991. The Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, has died. Even after Khomeini’s death and Iranian leaders later distanced themselves from the fatwa, it remained a threat to Rushdie. He told the Post in 1992 that he wasn’t sure he would ever be safealthough in recent years Rushdie has made public appearances without visible guards.
Iran refuse participation in the August attack. In a interview with the New York PostMatar did not say whether he was inspired by the fatwa, but he praised Khomeini and told the newspaper he was surprised Rushdie survived.
In the interview published on Saturday, Wylie told El País that in the past he and Rushdie had spoken about how the fatwa continued to pose a danger, especially from “some random person coming out of nowhere and the attacker”.
“So you can’t protect yourself against that,” Wylie told the newspaper, “because it’s totally unexpected and illogical.”