Author Salman Rushdie has been hospitalised after he was attacked earlier today at an event in New York state.
Police have said that Rushdie was apparently stabbed in the neck, but stated that the motive and the weapon used in the attack are still unknown. Reuters has reported that he is in surgery, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul has said Rushdie is “getting the care he needs”.
Rushdie’s writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, which banned his most famous book, The Satanic Verses, in 1988. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious edict calling for the author’s death.
Iran also offered more than $3m for anyone who kills Rushdie. Iran’s government has since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but Rushdie has remained a deeply controversial figure. Rushdie spent time in hiding under the pseudonym Joseph Anton.
Here is a timeline of Rushdie’s life:
June 19, 1947: Rushdie is born in Bombay, now Mumbai, India.
1981: His second novel, Midnight’s Children, wins the Booker Prize.
1988: The Satanic Verses is released but is quickly banned in Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and other countries. India also bans it from being imported.
1989: Iran issues a “fatwa”, or religious decree, calling for Rushdie to be killed for insulting Islam in The Satanic Verses. He lives underground for more than a decade, moving between safe houses and living under the pseudonym Joseph Anton.
1990: Newsweek publishes an essay by Rushdie, In Good Faith, in which he sought to defend the novel.
1993: He participates in the founding the International Parliament of Writers aimed at protecting writers and freedom of speech. It was dissolved in 2003.
2005: Shalimar the Clown, is published, with many narrative threads revolving around Indian-administered Kashmir.
2007: He is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to literature, prompting widespread protests among Muslims, notably in Pakistan.
2008: Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children is named the “Booker of Bookers” after winning a public vote for the best Booker-winning novel in 40 years of the award.
2009: Iran says the religious edict is “still valid”.
2012: Rushdie publishesm Joseph Anton, a memoir looking back at his years in hiding.
2015: Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, is released.
2016: Rushdie becomes a US citizen after about 20 years of living in New York.
2020: Rushdie is short-listed for the Booker Prize for, Quichotte, a modern version of the Spanish epic, Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes.