The attack happened at about 10:45 a.m. shortly after Mr. Rushdie took the stage to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution. The author spent years living in hiding after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran called for his execution in 1989.

Mr. Rushdie was transported by helicopter to a local hospital, the state police said in a statement. His condition is not yet known.