In New York, the literary world pays tribute to Salman Rushdie

À New York, the literary world pays tribute to Salman Rushdie

Poet Hasan Mujtaba was among those gathered in New York on Friday to pay tribute to Salman Rushdie, the victim of a knife attack last week.

Figures from the American literary world, including writers Paul Auster and Gay Talese, gathered for a reading of Salman Rushdie's work on Friday in a show of support for this author who was seriously injured in a knife attack. last week.

A dozen acclaimed writers, including people close to Mr. Rushdie, spoke on the steps of Manhattan's stately public library. The author was asked to follow the protest online from his hospital room.

On August 12, Salman Rushdie, who wrote The Verses satanics, was about to speak at a conference in upstate New York when a man burst onto the stage and stabbed him in the face. several times, in the neck and abdomen.

Evacuated by helicopter to a hospital, he had to be briefly placed on a ventilator before his condition improved .

Many people came to New York to show their support for Salman Rushdie.

On Friday, the writer and journalist Gay Talese, wearing his favorite fedora hat, read an excerpt from the novel The Golden House, while Irish author Colum McCann recited a passage from the essay Out of Kansas, published by Salman Rushdie in the New Yorker magazine in 1992 .

Mr. Rushdie has always risen to the occasion, McCann said. I think he will have something profound to say once he recovers, he continued.

American A. M. Homes – some of whom books, like The End of Alice, have caused controversy – read excerpts from the text On Censorship .

“No writer really wants to talk about censorship. Writers want to talk about creation and censorship is anti-creation. »

— Author A. M. Holmes

Salman Rushdie in London in 2017.

Salman Rushdie set part of the Islamic world ablaze with the publication of the Satanic Verses in 1988, which led the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa demanding his assassination.

The author had been forced to live in hiding and under police protection, going from hiding place to hiding place.

Hari Kunzru, British novelist and journalist, recited the beginning of this book which radically transformed the life of Salman Rushdie.

Salman once wrote that the role of a writer is to name the unnameable, to show the imposters, to take sides, to start debates, to shape the world and keep it from falling asleep, he said. That's why we're here.

Arrested immediately after the incident, Mr. Rushdie's attacker, Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old American of Lebanese descent, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to attempted murder and assault during a ;a first appearance after his indictment by a grand jury.

Hadi Matar is accused of stabbing writer Salman Rushdie, author from “Satanic Verses”.

Not even a blade through the throat could silence Salman Rushdie's voice, Suzanne Nossel, president of the global writers' advocacy association, PEN America, who initiated the rally, said on Friday. .

Before reading a piece of her own, British author Tina Brown spoke directly to Salman Rushdie: You never asked play the part of a hero, she said.

You just wanted to write, Ms. Brown continued. But the tenacity with which you stood up for free speech made you a hero, and you paid a heavy price.

For writer and historian Amanda Foreman, Friday's mobilization shows that people are not afraid. We are all ready to stand up for what we believe in, she told AFP.

Salman Rushdie, born in 1947 in India into a family of x27;non-practicing Muslim intellectuals, had lived in New York for twenty years and had become a US citizen in 2016.

Despite the threat, he had appeared more and more frequently in public , often without visible protection, while continuing to defend satire and irreverence in his books.

In an interview given to the German magazine Stern Days before Friday's attack, he said he was optimistic and said: Since I live in the United States, I don't have any problems […] . My life is back to normal.

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