Salman Rushdie predicted stabbing in terrifying dream two days before attack

Salman Rushdie has opened up about a dream in which he predicted his stabbing credit:Bang Showbiz
Salman Rushdie has opened up about a dream in which he predicted his stabbing credit:Bang Showbiz

Salman Rushdie predicted he would be stabbed to death in a chilling dream just two days before he was attacked with a knife at a literary event.

The 76-year-old author was left critically injured after he was attacked onstage just moments before he was due to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state in August 2022 - and he's now revealed he didn't want to attend because he had a terrifying vision of his own death just two days beforehand.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS programme '60 Minutes', Salman explained: "[The dream] was just somebody with a spear stabbing downwards, and I was rolling around on the floor trying to get away from him ... I was quite shaken by it and I said to [wife] Eliza, 'You know I don't want to go' - because of the dream. And then I thought, 'Don't be silly, it's a dream'.

"And then you wake up a bit more, and you think, it’s just a dream, and you’re not going to allow your life to be ruled by something that happened in a dream.

"And so I thought, I’ll go. It’s a gig."

Salman went on to talk about the horrific attack in which he lost and eye and suffered multiple stab wounds to areas of his face, neck, chest and hand, admitting he wasn't scared of death.

He said: "[I saw blood] spreading out from my body [and realised my eye was] kind of hanging out of my face, sitting on my cheek, I've said like a soft-boiled egg. And blind.

"I remember thinking that I was probably dying. And it was interesting because it was quite matter of fact. It wasn't, it wasn't like I was terrified of it or whatever."

The attack lasted 27 seconds before event staff managed to pull the knife-wielding assailant off him, and the author added: "That's quite a long time. That's the extraordinary half-minute of intimacy, you know, in which life meets death."

Salman was airlifted to hospital and underwent eight hours of surgery. He remained under the care of doctors for 18 days before starting three weeks of rehabilitation treatment, and he revealed his surgeon told him he was lucky to be alive.

He recounted their conversation, saying: "I said, 'What's the lucky part?' And he said, 'Well, the lucky part is that the man who attacked you had no idea how to kill a man with a knife'."

Hadi Matar, 24, was arrested on suspicion of attacking the author and later pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault. He is currently behind bars awaiting trial.