National Book Award winner Colum McCann was badly beaten up in a Connecticut hotel on last Saturday and had to be hospitalized with serious facial injuries.

The Dublin-born McCann, 49, was trying to intervene in a dispute between a woman and a man in the Study Hotel in New Haven, friends say, when the man turned on him.

The incident happened on Saturday at 10:16 PM and McCann was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, but details are only coming to light now.

Police say they are searching for the woman’s companion and are confident of making an arrest soon. McCann was in New Haven for a conference where he was supposed to speak, but his talk was canceled.

The author’s wife, Allison Hawke, told the AP that he is getting dental work and did not comment further. Ironically, McCann has been wearing an arm brace in recent times because of a wrist condition.

McCann is one of Ireland’s best-known authors and won the National Book Award in 2009 for “Let the Great World Spin,” an allegory about 9/11.

His latest book, TransAtlantic, was partly about the Irish peace process and spent several weeks on the New York Times best seller list.

McCann was born in Ireland and his father was features editor of the Irish Press newspaper, which Colum also wrote for.

He teaches at Hunter College and he and his wife have three children.