Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder

by Salman Rushdie

Narrated by Salman Rushdie

Unabridged — 6 hours, 22 minutes

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder

by Salman Rushdie

Narrated by Salman Rushdie

Unabridged — 6 hours, 22 minutes

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Notes From Your Bookseller

No one — including the author himself — knew if he would survive the shocking 2022 attempt on his life, and here he tells the unforgettable (and life-affirming) story as only he can.

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER ¿ From Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, a searing, deeply personal account of enduring-and surviving-an attempt on his life thirty years after the fatwa that was ordered against him
On the morning of August 12, 2022, Salman Rushdie was standing onstage at the Chautauqua Institution, preparing to give a lecture on the importance of keeping writers safe from harm, when a man in black-black clothes, black mask-rushed down the aisle toward him, wielding a knife. His first thought: So it's you. Here you are.

What followed was a horrific act of violence that shook the literary world and beyond. Now, for the first time, and in unforgettable detail, Rushdie relives the traumatic events of that day and its aftermath, as well as his journey toward physical recovery and the healing that was made possible by the love and support of his wife, Eliza, his family, his army of doctors and physical therapists, and his community of readers worldwide.

Knife is Rushdie at the peak of his powers, writing with urgency, with gravity, with unflinching honesty. It is also a deeply moving reminder of literature's capacity to make sense of the unthinkable, an intimate and life-affirming meditation on life, loss, love, art-and finding the strength to stand up again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Rushdie follows Victory City with a forceful and surprisingly good-humored account of the 2022 knife attack that nearly killed him. At a speaking engagement in Chautaqua, N.Y., a 24-year-old man Rushdie refers to only as “A” rushed the stage where he was speaking and stabbed him multiple times, including in the eye. Authorities swiftly connected the assault to the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini after Rushdie published The Satanic Verses in 1988. Rushdie chronicles the year following the attack, during which he recovered from liver damage, the removal of part of his small intestine, and the loss of his right eye. Though he writes of being plagued by nightmares and gory memories of the assault, Rushdie’s wit shines through (“Let me offer this piece of advice to you, gentle reader: if you can avoid having your eyelid sewn shut... avoid it”). Just as arresting is an imagined conversation with A, which sees Rushdie trying to parse his attacker’s religious convictions. By the time the narrative comes full circle, with Rushdie speaking on the same Chautaqua stage a year later, he’s opened a fascinating window into perhaps the most vulnerable period of his life. It’s a rewarding tale of resilience. (Apr.)

From the Publisher

Candid, plain-spoken and gripping . . . Knife is a clarifying book. It reminds us of the threats the free world faces. It reminds us of the things worth fighting for.”The New York Times

“Knife isn’t so much about pondering imminent death than it is an affirmation—an insistence—on returning to life.”San Francisco Chronicle

“The subject—the idea for which Rushdie nearly died—is the freedom to say what he wants . . . Rushdie survived, but he has too many scars to be certain that the idea will. This book is his way of fighting back.”The Atlantic

“A brave and beautiful book that tells his story with a cathartic relish, no gruesome detail spared . . . this book is as much a love letter to his wife—the poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths—as it is a punch-back at his assailant.”The Wall Street Journal

Salman Rushdie’s memoir is horrific, upsetting—and a masterpiece . . . Knife is a tour-de-force, in which the great novelist takes his brutal near-murder and spins it into a majestic essay on art, pain and love . . . full of Rushdie’s wit, his wisdom, his stoicism, his optimism, his love of all culture.”Daily Telegraph
Knife is in part about—and in some sense itself is—a battle between the two most prominent Rushdies: Great Writer and Great Man, artist and advocate, private person and public figure . . . Contains some of the most precise, chilling prose of his career.”Vulture

Not just a candid and fearless book but—against all odds—a defiantly witty one . . . A ‘reckoning’, if not quite a catharsis, Rushdie’s invigorating dispatch from (almost) the far side of death’s door names and limits the attack as ‘a large red ink blot.’”The Financial Times

“Rushdie’s triumph is not to be other: despite his terrible injuries and the threat he still lives under, he remains incorrigibly himself, as passionate as ever about art and free speech.”—The Guardian

Knife is testament to Rushdie’s convictions and to the sustaining power of love as he focuses on the suffering and support of his family and his wife, writer and artist Rachel Eliza Griffiths, during this ordeal . . . every electrifying page elicits tears and awe.”Booklist

“A graceful meditation on life and death that captures Rushdie at his most observant and lyrical.”Kirkus

MAY 2024 - AudioFile

Salman Rushdie offers an emotionally resonant account of the shocking knife attack that almost ended his life in 2022 in Chautauqua, New York. In a measured tone, Rushdie describes the events of that day, including the excruciating 27 seconds in which he encountered his would-be assassin and the terrible graphically described wounds that his body sustained. While the attack is this work's focal point, Rushdie also reflects on his long and often frustrating recovery and the people who sustained him, including compassionate healthcare workers and his beloved wife and children. Interwoven throughout are musings on literature, writing, politics, friendship, and religion, delivered with passion and more than a little humor. Wide-ranging and deeply insightful, this meditation on life, love, and resilience makes for compelling listening. S.A.H. © AudioFile 2024, Portland, Maine

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159302465
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 04/16/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,271
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