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Reactions to the attack on author Salman Rushdie

Roberta M. Schwartz and Chad Post on "Connections."
Emmarae Stein
Roberta M. Schwartz and Chad Post appear on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Monday, August 15, 2022.

Writers and literary leaders are reacting to the attack against Salman Rushdie. The 75-year-old author was stabbed numerous times in the face, neck, and abdomen during a speaking engagement in Chautauqua, New York. The alleged attacker is a 24-year-old man who denies his involvement. Rushdie is in critical condition and is expected to lose an eye, but his son says his feisty and defiant sense of humor remains intact.

In the 80s, Rushdie was forced into hiding for nearly a decade after his novel, "The Satanic Verses," was published. Then-Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a religious edict with a $3 million bounty calling for Rushdie's assassination.

The events surrounding the author raise questions about free speech and the dangers writers face in charged and polarized environments. We explore those issues with our guests:

  • Gregory Gerard, author
  • Summer Lopez, senior director for free expression programs at PEN America
  • Chad Post, publisher for Open Letter Books
  • Roberta M. Schwartz, director of City of Asylum/Rochester
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.