Salman Rushdie has been taken off his ventilator and is talking as he recovers from being stabbed in the US.
British-American writer Aatish Taseer said, in a since-deleted tweet, that the 75-year-old was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking)”, which was then confirmed by the author’s agent Andrew Wylie.
Mr Wylie had earlier said Mr Rushdie was using the ventilator and could lose an eye after he sustained injuries to his arm and liver in the attack.
The Indian-born Briton, whose novel The Satanic Verses led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution, 65 miles from Buffalo in New York state, when he was attacked.
The man accused of stabbing him pleaded not guilty on Saturday to charges of attempted murder and assault, in what a prosecutor called a “pre-planned” crime.
A lawyer for Hadi Matar, 24, entered the plea on his behalf during a formal hearing at a court in western New York.
A judge ordered him to be held without bail after district attorney Jason Schmidt told her Matar took steps to purposely put himself in a position to harm Mr Rusdhie, getting an advance pass to the event where the author was speaking and arriving a day early with a fake ID.
“This was a targeted, unprovoked, pre-planned attack on Mr Rushdie,” Mr Schmidt said.
Public defender Nathaniel Barone said the authorities had taken too long to get Matar in front of a judge, while leaving him “hooked up to a bench at the state police barracks”.
“He has that constitutional right of presumed innocence,” Mr Barone added.
The author was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, according to police, before he was taken to hospital.
Mr Rushdie’s publisher Penguin Random House said they were “deeply shocked and appalled” by the incident.