Salman Rushdie: Knife

Sun 21 Apr, 2.30pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £15
past event
past event
A older man wearing a grey shirt with thin metal frame glasses, one of the lenses is blacked out.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Join the Southbank Centre and English PEN for the launch of Rushdie's memoir, as he shares his survival story via livestream in conversation with Erica Wagner.

Hear Salman Rushdie speaking out for the first time, and in unforgettable detail, about the traumatic events of his attempted murder on 12 August 2022. He answers violence with art and reminds us of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable.

In an evening combining live readings from actors Anjana Vasan and Sanjeev Bhaskar, and candid reflections from Salman Rushdie, who joins us via video livestream, this unique event offers a deeply personal account of the attack and its aftermath.

Join the event in-person or online to hear directly from the internationally renowned and Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie as he talks openly about enduring – and surviving – an attempt on his life.

Salman Rushdie is the author of fifteen previous novels, including Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and Quichotte, all of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

He is a former president of PEN America and the recipient of the PEN Centenary Courage Award. His books have been translated into over forty languages. In 2023, he was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of the Year.

In June 2007 he received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He joined the prestigious Companions of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in her Platinum Jubilee year.

Erica Wagner’s books include Mary and Mr Eliot: A Sort-of Love Story; Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge; First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner and a novel, Seizure. She was the literary editor of The Times for seventeen years and is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar. She is Goldsmiths Distinguished Writers’ Centre Fellow and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2023.

Anjana Vasan was born in Chennai, India, and moved to Singapore when she was four. She is an actress and singer-songwriter based in London. Anjana is known for her stage work, winning a Laurence Olivier Award for her role in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre in 2023, opposite Paul Mescal and Patsy Ferran. Anjana was nominated for a British Academy Television Award for her role in the Channel 4 sitcom We Are Lady Parts. Other TV appearances include Black Mirror and Killing Eve, among many others.

Actor and writer Sanjeev Bhaskar gained notoriety as creator and performer of the BBC hit series Goodness Gracious Me, and wrote and starred in The Kumars at No. 42, which had global success, winning two Emmys, a BAFTA nomination, a British Comedy Award and the Bronze Rose at Montreux. In 2007, Bhaskar embarked on a highly personal journey through modern India with the BBC to commemorate 60 years of Indian independence. His accompanying travel book became a Sunday Times bestseller.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

This event is Speech-to-Text transcribed (STT).

You can join our free Access Scheme through your online Southbank Centre account or via email.
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Top-price tickets include a copy of Knife for the discounted price of £15 (RRP £20). The book must be collected on the night of the event, as we’re unable to distribute copies afterwards.

Please note that Salman Rushdie joins this event via video livestream.

This event is also available to watch online.
Find out more

Dates & times

Sun 21 Apr, 2.30pm
Approximate run time: 1 hour 30 mins.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £15*
  • Concessions25%**

* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

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An accessible toilet is located in the foyer.

A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet.

The facility includes a height-adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally-placed toilet, a height-adjustable basin and a shower. Please visit the Welcome Desk on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, where a member of staff can provide you with the key. You can also use the phone next to the Changing Places toilet to speak to a member of staff. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.


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