Book Review: Salman Rushdie’s Knife is a powerful meditation on trauma

The British-American author’s reflections on his brush with death at the hands of an assailant may be uneven, but are compelling nonetheless

Salman Rushdie, whose new book Knife is a powerful memoir about his 2022 attack at the hands of an Islamic fundamentalist. “So it’s you. Here you are,” Salman Rushdie recalls thinking with an artist’s detachment as this “murderous ghost from the past” rushed towards him

Samuel Beckett felt deeply curious about the man who almost stabbed him to death. In 1938, the Dubliner was attacked by a knife-wielding pimp on a Paris street and only survived thanks to the thickness of his overcoat. When Beckett later asked his assailant why, he simply replied, “I don’t know, sir, I’m sorry,’ which sounds like a line straight from one of the Nobel Prize winner’s own plays.

On August 12, 2022, Salman Rushdie ...