Salman Rushdie the author of 'Satanic Verses' was attacked on stage

He is the USA TODAY best selling author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s

He was attacked Friday as he was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.

"It's really unsettling to everybody here," Seward said. "It’s a peaceful place and it was unexpected."

According to a New York State Police press release Friday said at about 11 a.m., a man "ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer."

He is is the author of 14 novels, six of which are USA TODAY best sellers, most notably "The Satanic Verses," which has been banned in Iran since 1988

Suzanne Nossel said in an emailed statement Friday that Rushdie had been "targeted for his words."

Rushdie endured "an evident cut injury to the neck," and he was moved to an area clinic by helicopter, police said, while the "questioner experienced a minor head injury."