Salman Rushdie is attacked onstage in Western New York.

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Salman Rushdie spent years in hiding after the leadership of Iran called for his death following the publication of his novel “The Satanic Verses.” But in recent years, declaring “Oh, I have to live my life,” he re-entered society, regularly appearing in public around New York City without evident security.

On Friday morning, any sense that threats to his life were a thing of the past was dispelled when an attacker rushed the stage of Chautauqua Institution here in Western New York, where Mr. Rushdie was scheduled to give a talk about the United States as a safe haven for exiled writers. The assailant stabbed Mr. Rushdie, 75, in the abdomen and the neck, the police and witnesses said, straining to continue the attack even as several people held him back.

Mr. Rushdie was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital in Erie, Pa., where he was in surgery for several hours on Friday afternoon. Mr. Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said Friday evening that Mr….

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This article was written by Jay Root, David Gelles, Elizabeth A. Harris and Julia Jacobs and originally published on