Gore Vidal fractured his spine in a fall two weeks ago and canceled an appearance scheduled Thursday at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in Toledo, Ohio.

"I'm trying to grow a new vertebrae, which I believe tadpoles can do, but I'm not so sure about humans," the 83-year-old author joked in a telephone interview Wednesday from his home in Los Angeles.

Known for such novels as "Lincoln" and "Myra Breckinridge," Vidal said he fell while entering a restaurant in Los Angeles and was briefly hospitalized.

He said he wasn't wearing a brace or taking painkillers. When asked how long he would need to recuperate, Vidal responded, "I don't think about such things."

Vidal said he was working on a new novel, about the U.S.-Mexican war in the 1840s.

"I have every intention of completing it," he said. "I am just sorry that I couldn't come to Ohio during such a historic election. It was very hard to keep me away."