Author Salman Rushdie, marking his return to the literary world after a violent attack last year that left him permanently injured, says he wants no pity.

“I have always tried very hard not to play the victim role,” he recently told New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick. The story marked the author’s first interview since he was stabbed.

His comeback as a public figure also included a recent real-life visit to the New York City office of his agent, Andrew Wylie, the promotion of his new book, «Victory City,» completed before the stabbing, and a promise to avoid feelings of bitterness. six months after the attack in western New York.

In 1989, Rushdie defied advice to lie low after Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini put a virtual contract on his life in response to his novel, «The Satanic Verses,» which many Muslims found blasphemous or at least outrageously irreverent.

Rushdie has also expressed little desire to embrace the life of an inmate following the summer’s violence in an outdoor public discussion in Chautauqua, New York.

However, Rushdie acknowledged that the attack has caused him upheaval and agony. Wylie has said that Rushdie will not go on a book tour to promote the publication of «Victory City».

On August 12, 2022, violence quickly developed at the Chautauqua Institution, where Rushdie was sitting on stage, awaiting the start of a discussion that was part of the Chautauqua Lecture Series.

A suspect dressed in black came on stage and the perpetrator was stabbed multiple times, authorities said. Agent Wylie later said that Rushdie’s injuries, including a punctured eye, liver damage and severed nerves, would «be life-changing».

He said the author would likely lose the use of one eye, and today Rushdie wears glasses with a dark-colored right lens instead of an eyepatch. Although Rushdie’s physiological recovery appears to be almost complete, he told the New Yorker that his mind still needs time.

“I have found it very, very difficult to write,” Rushdie said. “I sit down to write and nothing happens. I write, but it is a combination of emptiness and garbage, things that I write and delete the next day. I’m not out of that woods yet, really.»

Rushdie spent six weeks in hospital rooms recovering, the New Yorker reported in his feature published online Monday and scheduled for print publication on February 13.

Suspect Hadi Matar, then 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, was arrested and has been awaiting trial on charges of attempted second-degree murder and, for allegedly attacking Chautauqua moderator Henry Reese, second-degree assault.

He pleaded not guilty. An attorney appointed to represent him did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rushdie said that he had not doubted his lack of security that day. «I blame him,» he told the New Yorker, referring to the suspect.

The product of a Muslim family in Bombay that sent him to Cambridge for his education, Rushdie was quickly recognized as a literary star when his 1981 novel «Midnight’s Children» won critical acclaim and a Booker Prize.

Although the author watched his back and used security after instances of rampant responses from the Muslim world to 1988’s «The Satanic Verses,» which included a character of Muhammad portrayed as human and flawed, the author eventually rejected the idea of ​​living in exile or in fear.

His sixteenth novel, «Victory City,» seems to echo Rushdie’s sharp, self-deprecating view of humanity. It is presented as the secret history of an empire of humanist ideals from around 1500, including gender equality, which he failed to realize. TO New York Times The review said it shows «disturbing, strange predictive power.»

After moving to New York in 2000, with the virtual generosity of Khomeini’s fatwa still hanging over his head, Rushdie seemed to behave as if it never happened as he was seen enjoying the restaurants and nightlife of the city. city ​​like any other celebrity. .

The demonstration of living well under a threat of death may have been a mistake, Rushdie told the New Yorker, because people seemed to hate it.

«I not only lived but tried to live well,» he said. «Bad mistake.»

The Chautauqua attack might have changed the world’s opinion of him, the author quipped. «Get fifteen stabs, much better,» he said.

He said he wants readers to welcome him through his books and not consider how such a traumatic event would mark the timeline of his life, even as he admits the incident has tested his resolve.

«You’re sitting there saying, ‘Someone stuck a knife in me! Poor me,’ which I sometimes think,» Rushdie said. «It hurts. But what I don’t think is: that’s what I want people who read the book to think. I want the story to capture them, to let themselves go.»

He seems determined to continue digging into his soul for his next novel. The voices of his characters, he has said, emerge in time.

«All I can do is this,» he said. «As long as there’s a story that I think is worth spending my time on, then I’ll do it.»