Indian-born British-American writer Salman Rushdie remains in critical condition in hospital following a stabbing attack on Friday, Rushdie’s family said on Sunday.
“Following the attack on Friday, my father remains in critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment,” his family said in a statement.
The family said he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen, and he was able to say a few words on Saturday.
Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humor remains intact, it added.
The family also asked for continued patience and privacy during the time.
Earlier, Andrew Wylie, Rushdie’s agent, said the road to recovery has begun.
“It will be long; the injuries are severe, but his condition is headed in the right direction,” Wylie added.
The suspect who attacked Rushdie was taken into custody, police said on Friday. The attack took place before a lecture he was about to present.
Rushdie suffered a stab wound to his neck and was transported to a hospital.
Pictures on social media showed Rushdie, whose works have prompted death threats, lying on stage at the Chautauqua Institution as police and bystanders attempted to provide first aid.
Rushdie is the author of several novels that won widespread acclaim, including Midnight's Children, which won the Booker Prize in 1981.
But his book, “The Satanic Verses," was the subject of controversy seven years later, with late Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issuing a fatwah calling for his death because of the novel.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Khomeini's successor, had a tweet deleted in 2019 that said the fatwah remained in place.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani, addressing a weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday, refuted any link between the attack on Rushdie and Iran.
He said "no one has the right" to accuse Iran of orchestrating the attack on Rushdie.