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Colum McCann

Author of the National Book Award-winning novel, Let the Great World Spin

  • About Colum McCann

    Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the 2009 National Book Award-winning novel Let the Great World Spin. His most recent book, TransAtlantic, ties together a series of narratives that spans 150 years and two continents – it has been hailed as his most spectacular achievement to date.

    A true literary scholar and international artist, Colum McCann speaks with great passion about the writer’s craft and journey. Born in Ireland, he has traveled extensively around the world. He is a member of the Irish Academy, Aosdana, and was awarded a Chevalier des arts et Lettres by the French government in fall 2009 (making him one of an exclusive number of foreign artists recognized in France for their literary contributions: other recipients have included Paul Auster, Salman Rushdie, and Julian Barnes). The exclusive American Academy honored him with a literary award in May 2011.

    McCann’s fiction has been published in 30 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Bomb and other places. He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, the Irish Times, Die Zeit, La Repubblica, Paris Match, the Guardian, the Times, and the Independent. His novel Let the Great World Spin (2009) was a bestseller on four continents; in the U.S. it hit the New York Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists. Previous works include the novels Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as two critically acclaimed story collections.

    He currently teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College and lives in New York City.


  • Speaking Topics

    An Evening with Colum McCann

    The Writer's Journey

    From idea to written page, how a novel is born

    Telling stories

    Creating fiction from a historical perspective

    The Writer's Craft

    Creating memorable characters in a specific moment in time

  • Video

  • Praise for Colum McCann

    Colum was excellent with our students blending current events and personal anecdotes during his presentation. Of utmost importance, I have rarely met an author as willing to spend his personal time connecting with our students. Colum is gracious with his time and easy to work with prior to and upon arrival, plus it helps that he is a true literary scholar. Duke was grateful for his work enhancing our summer reading program.

    Duke University

    Praise for Thirteen Ways of Looking

    Separate and together, these four works prove McCann a master with a poet’s ear, a psychologist’s understanding, and a humanitarian’s conscience. Publishers Weekly (starred review!)

    Publishers Weekly, Starred review

    A superbly crafted and deeply moving collection of fiction…underscores [McCann’s] reputation as a contemporary master.

    Kirkus Review, Starred review
  • Books by Colum McCann

  • Media About Colum McCann

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  • 212 572-2013
  • Colum McCann travels from New York, NY

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