Author Salman Rushdie was removed from a ventilator Saturday and is "on the road to recovery," his agent said on Sunday, two days after Rushdie was stabbed during an attack in New York.
The agent, Andrew Wylie, stressed that while Rushdie's "condition is headed in the right direction," it will not be a quick recuperation. The 75-year-old sustained multiple injuries, including damage to his liver and severed nerves in his arm. On Saturday, Wylie said Rushdie will likely also lose one of his eyes.
In a statement, Rushdie's son, Zafar Rushdie, said his father suffered "life changing injuries" and remains in critical condition, but "his feisty and defiant sense of humor remains intact."
Rushdie was at the Chautauqua Institution, about to start a lecture on the freedom of expression, when a man rushed to the stage and stabbed him several times. The suspect, 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty on Saturday to assault and attempted murder charges.
Rushdie's 1988 book The Satanic Verses was considered blasphemous by many Muslim religious leaders, including Iran's Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death. The author went into hiding for nine years, and routinely receives death threats. Authorities are investigating whether the suspect acted alone and if the fatwa was a motive for the attack.