Book sales for Sir Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses have surged after the author was stabbed at an event in the US last week.
The controversial 1988 book, considered blasphemous by some Muslims, rose to number eight on Amazon’s list of best-selling fiction books of the week and was sold by other booksellers.
The surge in sales appears to be driven somewhat by readers in solidarity with Sir Salman, who for decades has been the target of death threats, including a fatwa, over the book.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the out-of-print paperback edition of the book was the No. 2 best-selling book on Amazon’s Contemporary Fiction and Literature chart and the audiobook version held the No. 14 spot on Audible. .
A verified reviewer wrote on Amazon last Friday: “Bought in solidarity with Mr. Rushdie.
“No one should be physically assaulted for the words they write.”
The paperback edition of the book was also temporarily out of stock on the Barnes & Noble websites and Bookshop.org, a marketplace focused on independent booksellers.
It comes almost a week after the A 75-year-old Briton of Indian origin was airlifted to hospital and underwent hours of surgery after being attacked on stage in Chautauqua, New York last Friday.
Sir Salman was stabbed around 12 times in the face and neck, local officials say, and taken off a ventilator but suffered ‘life-changing injuries’said his son.
Satanic verses were banned in 1988 in a number of countries with large Muslim populations, including Iran.
Some of the scenes in the book depict a character modeled after the Prophet Muhammad which angered some members of the Muslim community, who considered it blasphemous.
In 1989, then-Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill the author.
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The book was burned around the world and the translators of the work were attacked. Sir Salman received decades of threats and lived in hiding for many years.
Satanic verses remain banned in Iran and a number of other countries.
The man who allegedly stabbed Sir Salman, Hadi Matar, 24, denied the charges attempted murder and assault.
Speaking from Chautauqua County Jail, Matar told the New York Post he disliked Sir Salman and said he ‘attacked Islam’, adding that he had only read “a few pages” of The Satanic Verses.
He would not say whether he had taken inspiration from the late ayatollah, citing a warning from his lawyer.