Salman Rushdie talked about the attack that nearly killed him and his new memoir about the incident, Knife, on 60 Minutes Sunday.

Rushdie, the acclaimed novelist and author of books including Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses—the latter led to a fatwa against him by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989—was stabbed multiple times in 2022 while on stage for an event in Chautauqua, New York.

The attack cost him the vision in one eye and the use of one hand. Hadi Matar was arrested in connection with the stabbing and has pleaded not guilty to assault and attempted murder.

On 60 Minutes, Rushdie read an excerpt from his memoir, describing the seconds before his stabbing. “I confess I had sometimes imagined my assassin rising up in some public or other and coming for me in just this way. So my first thought when I saw this murderous shape rushing towards me was, So it’s you. Here you are.”

“It’s like you’ve been waiting for it,” said 60 Minutes correspondent Anderson Cooper.

“Yeah, that’s what it felt like,” Rushdie said. “It felt like something coming out of the distant past and trying to drag me back in time, if you like, back into that distant past in order to kill me.”

In a dramatic moment, Cooper noted that the attack lasted 27 seconds, and used his cell phone to count down that period of time, as he and Rushdie sat in silence.

“That’s quite a long time,” Rushdie said after the time had elapsed. “That’s the extraordinary half minute of intimacy in which life meets death.”

Knife is slated for publication Tuesday by Random House.

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.