24th ilb
5 – 14 Sep 2024 Program
9 – 18 Sep 2024 Young Program

Retrospect on the German Book Premiere of »Knife« with Salman Rushdie

© Phil Dera/ internationales literaturfestival berlin
© Phil Dera/ internationales literaturfestival berlin

Berlin, May 17, 2024

Salman Rushdie reclaims his life with a love story: last night at the book premiere of »Knife. Meditations After an Attempted Murder« (translated into German by Bernhard Robben) as part of the international literature festival berlin, he spoke about the power of love and imagination. Facing hate with love has given him his life back.

»I was thinking about how to fight back. I am not familiar with the use of knives or guns. I am familiar with the use of words. I thought this is the weapon I could use. In a way, words become my knife. If you go to a knife fight, bring a knife«

Salman Rushdie at the German Book Premiere of »Knife« on May 16, 2024
Salman Rushdie im Conversation with Marie Kaiser and Thomas Böhm (radioeins / rbb). With a reading by Ulrich Matthes, actor at Deutsches Theater.
© Phil Dera/ internationales literaturfestival berlin

For festival director Lavinia Frey, who, together with Iris Laufenberg, Artistic Director of the Deutsches Theater, opened the evening, the book is also a sign of love and unity. The event therefore also was a symbol of the importance of freedom of speech. She thanked all the cooperation partners who had joined forces to make the book premiere possible.

© Phil Dera/ internationales literaturfestival berlin
© Phil Dera/ internationales literaturfestival berlin

The only public event in Germany for »Knife« was also important to the author himself. Due to the attack and its resulting effect on his health, public presentations of his latest novel »Victory City« were not possible.
It was a great pleasure and honor for us to make this premiere of his new memoir possible for Salman Rushdie, and we would like to thank everyone involved, especially Thomas Böhm and Marie Kaiser for moderating the event and Ulrich Matthes for reading from the German translation of the book.

The German book premiere of »Knife« was an event of the international literature festival berlin in cooperation with: Deutsches Theater Berlin, Penguin Verlag, Das Blaue Sofa, Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels