(NEW YORK)— One year after author Salman Rushdie was severely wounded in a knife attack, PEN America, the free expression and writers’ organization he served as president from 2004-06, issued the following statement:

“Since that hideous day, we are above all else profoundly grateful that Salman has recovered to the point where his signal voice of literary genius and as a champion of  the freedom to write is at full force.  He brings a sharply distilled moral clarity to our discourse, an essential contribution in an age of obfuscation and uncertainty.”

A week after the unthinkable assault at a bucolic intellectual retreat center in upstate New York, we were heartened by the outpouring of support for Salman when PEN America brought together Salman’s friends and admirers on the steps of the New York Public Library to read his written words aloud, including those from his 27th book Victory City, published this past February. We have been profoundly encouraged by his remarkable progress recovering from grave wounds, culminating with the emotional moment at our spring literary gala—his first in person public appearance since the attack— when he received a special award for courage and, raising his arm with his hand in a fist, called on PEN America supporters not to be cowed into silence. ‘Terrorism must not terrorize us,’ he said.  ‘Violence must not deter us. La lutte continue. La lutta continua. The struggle goes on.’

We will continue to honor his unique voice and uphold his uncompromising stance on free expression.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org