Author Salman Rushdie is likely to lose one of his eyes and is currently on a ventilator after he was attacked on stage at a literary event in upstate New York on Friday, a report said.
“The news is not good,” the 75-year-old writer’s agent, Andrew Wylie, told The New York Times.
“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” said Wylie.
Rushdie, who is still unable to speak, was attacked by a lone man while speaking at an event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY, about 75 miles south of Buffalo.
He was scheduled to speak about the United States as a place for exiled authors “as a home for freedom of expression,” according to the institute. After the stabbing, he was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania.
A witness who was in the audience told The Post that Rushdie tried to run off the stage, and the two men scuffled before audience members rushed onstage to subdue the attacker.
His alleged attacker, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, was arrested by a state trooper at the scene, the Times reported.
Rushdie’s controversial 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses,” prompted Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death over what he claimed were blasphemous references to Islam.
The author, who was born into a Muslim family in Mumbai, India, lived in hiding under the protection of the British government from 1989 until 2002.
“We ask for your prayers for Salman Rushdie and Henry Reese, and patience as we fully focus on coordinating and cooperating with police officials following a tragic incident at the Amphitheater today,” the Chautauqua Institution said in a statement on its website. “All institution programs are canceled for the remainder of the day.