MAYVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Author Salman Rushdie was taken off a ventilator and able to talk on Saturday, one day after he was stabbed multiple times while preparing to give a lecture in Chautauqua County.

Rushdie remains hospitalized with serious injuries, but fellow author Aatish Taseer tweeted that Rushdie was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking).” Rushdie’s agent confirmed that to the Associated Press.

His son, Zafar, tweeted a statement on Sunday morning on behalf of the family.

Following the attack on Friday, my father remains in critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment. We are extremely relieved that yesterday he was taken off the ventilator and he was able to say a few words.

Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of [humor] remains intact. We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely leapt to his defense and administered first aid along with the police and doctors who have cared for him and the outpouring of love and support from around the world. We ask for continued patience and privacy as the family comes together at his bedside to support and help him through this time.”

Zafar Rushdie

On Friday morning, Rushdie was stabbed multiple times in the neck and abdomen. 24-year-old Hami Matar of Fairview, N.J. was charged with attempted murder and assault and pleaded not guilty. A prosecutor called it a “preplanned” crime.

Rushdie suffered damaged nerves in an arm and his eye as well as a damaged liver. His agent said that he was likely to lose the injured eye.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.