Rushdie and Kureishi: Writers and fighters

By Online Desk

Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye and use of one hand. Hanif Kureishi may never hold a pen again. Author of The Satanic Verses, Rushdie, was repeatedly stabbed by a man who rushed onto the stage during a literary event in New York state on August 12, 2022. On December 26, 2022, Novelist and screenwriter, Hanif Kureishi had a fall in Rome. He suffered spinal injuries. He cannot move his limbs.

In his “first international broadcast interview,” Kureishi told the BBC World Service’s Newshour how his life has changed after the fall. According to Kureishi, Rushdie does not talk about what happened to him, saying that he’s very private. “Whereas, I do talk about what happened to me. I need to remember my identity as a writer, in the only way I can.”

Indian-born British-American novelist, Rushdie is in touch with British-Pakistani writer Kureishi,  regularly, sending amusing texts.

Kureishi is using Twitter to chronicle his life in the hospital. “It’s not unpleasant here. The doctors, nurses and all the workers are kind. Almost all of them look you in the eye and at least smile. They know that they have to relate to each patient. They aren’t afraid of touching the most abhorrent, aged or broken body,” he tweeted recently.

He has never written like this before, preferring writing in a book with a fountain pen, and a computer for re-writes. Now, he dictates his thoughts and has been amazed by the response; an accident that came out of an accident, he told the BBC.

The words he has been dictating have been life-affirming, dark, funny and alive to his reality.

And shifted what he thinks about disabled people: “Suddenly, I walked through the door of sickness, and I have been transformed.”

“I had never really thought about the condition of disabled people and now I know. There isn’t a family in the world that will not have some experience of a disabled person.”

“We are living in a world of agony and pain that I never knew existed, and I want to see the world from these people’s point of view. “I also want to set up a charity for writers who are disabled, called Metamorphosis, after the Kafka novel,” he told the BBC.

Rushdie’s Victory City was launched recently. About the work, the Financial Times said, “In Vijayanagar, where Naipaul saw only discord, Rushdie now conjures up a fantasy world whose strength lies in India’s great religions coming together, “flow[ing] into each other like the rivers Ganga and Yamuna.” 

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