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 Salman Rushdie, 75, a Booker Prize winner was speaking on the event at the Chautauqua Institution when the attacker stabbed him in the neck.

Little information about the condition of the attacker who has been in police custody. 

A male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked him according to New York State authorities.

The author was then rushed to the nearest hospital via helicopter. His condition is not currently known.

The Indian-born novelist catapulted to fame with Midnight's Children in 1981, which went on to sell over one million copies in the UK alone.

But Mr Rushdie's fourth book, in 1988 - The Satanic Verses - forced him into hiding for nine years.

The surrealist, post-modern novel sparked outrage among some Muslims, who considered its content to be blasphemous, and was banned in some countries.

A year after the book's publication, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for Mr Rushdie's execution and offered a $3m (£2.5m) reward.

Dozens of people died in the violence that followed its publication, including murdered translators of the work.

The bounty over Mr Rushdie's head remains active, although Iran's government has distanced itself from Khomeini's decree.

The author, who has British and American citizenship, is a vocal advocate for freedom of expression and has defended his work on several occasions.

When he was knighted in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II, it sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where one cabinet minister said the honour "justifies suicide attacks".

Literary events attended by Mr Rushdie have been subject to threats and boycotts in the past.

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