Margaret Atwood has said that Sir Salman Rushdie “never missed an opportunity to articulate the principles he has embodied throughout his writing career” and added that “freedom of speech is of the utmost importance.” among these”.
The Canadian writer and two-time Booker Prize winner, 82, is among a number of figures in the literary world who have condemned the attack on Sir Salman, 75, in which he was stabbed at a lecture in New York. York on Friday.
Sir Salman, author of The Satanic Verses, Midnight’s Children and other titles, suffered a severe, life-changing trauma but “his everyday and defiant sense of humor remained intact”, his family said. know in an update Sunday, adding that they were “extremely relieved” that he was released from the ventilator on Saturday.
Writing in The Guardian, Atwood, who wrote the incestuous novel The Handmaid’s Tale, said of Sir Salman: “He checked every box except the Nobel Prize: he was knighted; he is on everyone’s list of important British writers; he has collected an impressive array of awards and honors, but most importantly he has touched and inspired so many people across the globe.
“A large number of writers and readers have long owed him a great debt.
“Suddenly, they owed him another one. He has long defended freedom of artistic expression against all men; Now, even if he has to heal his wounds, he’s a martyr to it.
“In any future monument to writers killed, tortured, imprisoned, and mistreated, Rushdie will be a standout.”
Atwood writes that Sir Salman has “never missed an opportunity to articulate the principles he has embodied throughout his writing life. Freedom of speech is a top priority among these. “
Sir Salman, whose novel The Verses of Satan led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was preparing to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute, 65 miles from Buffalo in New York state, when he was attacked. .
The man accused of stabbing him on Saturday has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault, which a prosecutor called a “premeditated” crime.
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An attorney for Hadi Matar, 24, pleaded guilty on his behalf during a formal hearing in a court in western New York.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who visited the Chautauqua Institute on Sunday, said in a speech: “I want there a man with a knife cannot silence a man with a pen.”
She added: “Mr Rushdie has spent more than a decade of his life in hiding.
“And at the end he said, say no more, I’m going out. I’m coming out of the dark.
“I will not bow out of fear or intimidation. And for those of us who go about our daily lives, if that’s not inspiration, I don’t know what is.”
Sir Salman’s ex-wife, author and TV presenter Padma Lakshmi, was among those who expressed relief at Quichotte’s health update.
Lakshmi, who was married to Sir Salman from 2004 to 2007, tweeted: “@SalmanRushdie relieved to be getting through Friday’s nightmare. Worry is speechless, can finally breathe out. Now hope for a quick healing. “
US President Joe Biden said he was “shocked and saddened” by the attack on the writer.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/rushdie-has-long-defended-freedom-of-artistic-expression-margaret-atwood-41912203.html Rushdie ‘long defended freedom of artistic expression’ – Margaret Atwood