Salman Rushdie remains in “critical condition” after he was attacked onstage at an event in New York on Friday.
A man stabbed the “Midnight’s Children” author after rushing onto the stage shortly before he was scheduled to deliver a lecture. Rushdie suffered injuries to the liver and hand and may lose an eye.
On Sunday, the 75-year-old’s son, Zafar Rushdie, issued a statement via Twitter in which he offered an update on his father’s health.
“Following the attack on Friday, my father remains in critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment. We are extremely relieved that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen, and he was able to say a few words. Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humor remains intact,” he wrote. “We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely leaped to his defense and administered first aid along with the police and doctors who have cared for him and for the outpouring of love and support from around the world.”
Elsewhere, agent Andrew Wylie insisted Rushdie’s “road to recovery” had begun.
“It will be long; the injuries are severe, but his condition is headed in the right direction,” he commented.
Hadi Matar has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance on Saturday.
Rushdie’s fourth novel, “The Satanic Verses,” was the subject of controversy after its publication in 1988.
Muslims claimed the writer mocked their faith with the book, and following death threats, he was put under police protection in the U.K. for many years.