Stephen King is among the authors and notable faces voicing their disbelief after Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage in New York state.
The Indian-born British author, 75, whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution when the incident occurred, leaving him with an apparent stab wound to the neck.
As he was transported to hospital by helicopter, with his condition unclear, a number of authors took to social media to speak of their shock following the “horrific” incident.
Renowned American author of horror and fantasy novels King said: “I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”
Journalist and author of Empireland, Sathnam Sanghera, tweeted: “Passage from Midnight’s Children in my last ever exam. Poster of The Moor’s Last Sigh had place on my (pretentious) student bedroom wall. Quote from Satanic Verses opens Empireland.
“Lots of British Asian writers wouldn’t be writers without him. Pray he’s well.”
Author Neil Gaiman said he was shocked and distressed to hear his friend had been attacked.
"He's a good man and a brilliant one and I hope he's ok," he wrote on Twitter.
Wajahat Ali, author of Go Back to Where You Came From and Daily Beast columnist, said he had been at the Chautauqua two weeks ago describing it as a lovely place with a fantastic, curious and welcoming community.
"Unhinged men wanting to police the world through violence. Salman Rushdie stabbed today. FBI attacked yesterday," he said on social media.
"I fear these examples of violence will only keep escalating with polarization, disinformation and extremism going mainstream."
TV chef Nigella Lawson wrote: “This is horrific. Am distraught. Please, please let him be ok.”
Mr Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims view it as blasphemous, and its publication prompted Iran’s then-leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa calling for his execution.