Salman Rushdie attends and gets felicitated at PEN America gala


This was Rushdie’s first in-person appearance since stabbing last summer

Our Bureau

New York

Salman Rushdie made his first in-person public appearance since being stabbed and grievously injured 9 months ago, the literary and free expression organization for which he once served as president. Hundreds of writers and other PEN members gather for the dinner benefit through PEN America gala.

“I feel great,” said Rushdie, wearing a dark collarless jacket and matching pants. “I have a long association with PEN America and I’m just happy to be amongst writers and book people.” He delivered the event’s final speech as he accepts the PEN Centenary Courage Award. ‘Saturday Night Live’ founder Lorne Michaels and Iranian dissident Narges Mohammadi were among those scheduled to be honored.

“It’s nice to be back, as opposed to not being back, which was also a possibility. I’m glad the dice rolled this way.” Rushdie told hundreds gathered at the American Museum of Natural History.

Last August, Rushdie was appearing at the Chautauqua Institution, a non-profit education and retreat centre in western New York, when he was assaulted by a young man dressed in black and carrying a knife. Rushdie sustained multiple wounds, leaving him blind in his right eye and struggling to write.

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