Knife by Salmon Rushdie


I greatly admired Rushdie’s memoir Joseph Anton about his life during the threat against his life by the fatwah in 1989. This one tells about the attack he suffered in 2022 at Chautauqua that nearly killed him. I found both his memoirs irresistible.

He tells in detail about his injuries and what was required to heal from them. I was surprised to find myself thinking of my mother’s catastrophic injuries from her accident when she drove her car into a train. I was only seven years old, but I knew pretty awful details of her injuries, thanks to a classmate who claimed to have seen her before the ambulance arrived. I don’t often think of the physical manifestations of this event and how miraculous it was that she survived, but this book sure brought it to the forefront.

One of Salmon Rushdie’s good qualities is his gratitude to those who have cared for him in his tribulations and how happy his beloved wife Eliza makes him. He describes all the love and support his sister, his sons, and Eliza’s family showed him. He speaks of the health care workers who saved his life. And this gratitude echoes my own thoughts when my mother’s accident comes up and that is the care and support given to my family by members of our church, our neighbors, my father’s co-workers, our relatives. So much kindness and love was present in many forms, including money. That little town in 1952 was very generous. Recently I have read through papers my father saved from that time that documents their generosity. Most moving was a letter from my mother’s sister’s husband, a man I barely knew. Uncle Bert wrote to my father with such warmth and love that he saved the letter all those years.

Well, I have pretty decisively pushed Salmon out of the limelight here. So be it.

Salmon Rushdie, Knife, Random House, 2024, 209 pages (I listened to the audiobook read by the author). Available in the public library.



  • I have been thinking about reading Knife. I am hoping my reading group might select it for the second half of the year though I fear there may be some resistance. But your review on top of others I’ve read have convinced me that I’d like to read it. I’ve read three Rushdies over the years – all very different but all fiction. A memoir appeals.

    • I haven’t read his fiction, but I find him a fascinating person. It’s fun to read about his connections with so many extraordinary famous literary friends. There was much to be said about this book, but I was unable to ignore what it brought up about my own life.


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