Rushdie Stabbing Brings Terror to an Idyllic Retreat for Earnest Inquiry

Over the past week, life at the Chautauqua Institution continued much as it had for 148 summers.

Adults wiled away days attending church, playing badminton, taking pottery classes and listening to music on the shores of a picturesque western New York lake. Children attended camp and roamed free even as the sun set.

Why would the thousands of families inside the 750-acre gated compound suspect that an attacker was among them?

Then on Friday morning, a knife-wielding man stormed the stage as the author Salman Rushdie was preparing to give a talk about the United States as a safe haven for exiled writers.

The assailant stabbed Mr. Rushdie repeatedly, bloodying the stage of an amphitheater that is the central forum at one of America’s most storied spiritual and cultural retreats.

Mr. Rushdie remained hospitalized Saturday but had started to talk, according to Andrew Wylie, his agent. The night before he had been put on a ventilator with wounds to an eye, arm and his liver from what…

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This article was written by David Gelles and originally published on