Salman Rushdie is a writer. A storyteller.

So when you ask him to tell the story of the day, in 2022, when he was attacked and nearly killed by a young man with a knife, Rushdie paints a vivid picture.

He describes lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood, overwhelmed with a singular emotion. It wasn't fear, it wasn't pain. It was extreme loneliness.

"I thought, here I am in the middle of upstate New York, almost in Canada, very far from everyone I love. You know, dying, as I thought. I thought I was dying. Dying in the company of strangers. And that felt ... worse than the dying," he said.

Rushdie writes about the attack in his memoir, Knife. He sat down with All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly in NPR's New York bureau recently to talk about what happened that day, his reflections on the fatwa calling for his death decades ago, and finding great love later in life.

Listen to the interview with Rushdie on All Things Considered. Part 1 is airing on Wednesday, April 17 and part 2 airs on Thursday, April 18.

Watch a 30-minute cut of this interview on YouTube here.