Salman Rushdie to speak in Utrecht in first Dutch event since stabbing
British American author Salman Rushdie will speak at the International Literature Festival Utrecht (ILFU) on September 30. It will be his first interview in the Netherlands since he got stabbed while giving a lecture in New York, though the interview will happen via livestream.
At the ILFU, journalist Chris Keulemans and writer Abdelkader Benali will speak to Rushdie via a livestream about his recent novel, Victory City, and his extensive oeuvre. Rushdie was last live on stage in Utrecht in 2018.
“We look back with great pleasure on his last visit to ILFU five years ago. It is always a pleasure to hear Rushdie talk about his work,” ILFU director Michael Stoker said. “Of course, we would have preferred that the attack had never happened and that he had simply returned live on stage, but we are grateful and honored that he can now join us online.”
Rushdie got attacked while giving a lecture in New York in August last year. A man rushed the stage and stabbed the author multiple times. Rusdhie was rushed to a hospital with a damaged liver, severed nerves in his arm, and an injured eye. He ended up losing sight in that eye.
The 76-year-old author’s novel The Satanic Verses drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s, and Rushdie has been under threat since then. The perpetrator of the stabbing was born a decade after The Satanic Verses was published, AP wrote soon after the attack.
Rushdie’s first public appearance after the stabbing was at the Pen America Gala in New York in May. He joked that it was “nice to be back - as opposed to not being back, which was also an option,” according to The Guardian. Rushdie was a surprise guest at the gala and was greeted with a standing ovation.
During the ILFU livestream interview at TivoliVredenburg, Rushdie will speak about the publication of Victory City - an epic tale about a woman who breathes life into a mythical empire, only to be destroyed by it over the centuries. He will also discuss the republication of Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, and Joseph Anton by his Dutch publisher Pluim.