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Let the Great World Spin (McCann) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—1965
Where—Dublin, Ireland
Awards—Pushcart Prize; Rooney Prize; Hennessy Award for 
   Irish Literature; Irish Independent Hughes and Hughes/
   Sunday Independent Novel of the Year; Ireland Fund 
   of Monaco Princess Grace Memorial Literary Award;
   Deauville Festival of Cinema Literary Prize; named French
   Chevalier des arts et lettres; inducted into Ireland's
   Aosdana
Currently—lives in New York City


Colum McCann is an Irish writer of literary fiction—two collections of short stories and several novels, most recently TransAtlantic (2013). He is a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing in the Master of Fine Arts program at Hunter College, New York and a regular visitor to the European Graduate School.

McCann's fiction has been published in 35 languages. His novels include Songdogs (1995), This Side of Brightness (1998), Dancer (2003), Zoli (2006), Let the Great World Spin (2009), and TransAtlantic (2013). He has written for numerous newspapers and periodicals, including the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Times (of London), Irish Times, Granta, and La Repubblica. His short story "Everything in this Country Must" was made into a short film directed by Gary McKendry. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005.

Early and private life
McCann was born in Dublin and studied journalism in the former College of Commerce in Rathmines, now the Dublin Institute of Technology He began his career as a reporter for the Irish Press, and had his own column and byline by the age of 21.

In 1986 he arrived in the United States with the purpose of writing a novel. He soon found that he was lacking the life experience to undertake such a project, so he took a bicycle tour across North America for the next 18 months, collecting many of the experiences that he later said influenced his fiction, especially the wide range of voices and backgrounds of his characters.

He settled in Texas from 1988 until 1991 where he worked as a wilderness guide in a program for juvenile delinquents in Texas, and completed his B.A in the University of Texas. In 1992 he married Allison Hawke and moved to Japan, where the McCanns lived for a year and a half. He and his wife then moved to New York where they currently reside with their three children, Isabella, John Michael, and Christian.

Major works
McCann's 2009 novel Let the Great World Spin uses the true story of Philippe Petit as a "pull-through metaphor" and weaves together a powerful allegory of 9/11. The novel has won numerous honours, notably the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  In 2010, McCann and musician Joe Hurley cowrote a song-cycle—“The House That Horse Built (Let the Great World Spin)”—based on the character of Tillie.

On 16 June 2009, McCann published a Bloomsday remembrance of his long-deceased grandfather, whom he met only once, and of finding him again in the pages of James Joyce's Ulysses.

McCann's 2013 novel Transatlantic tells the intertwined stories of Alcock and Brown (the first non-stop transatlantic fliers in 1919), the visit of Frederick Douglass to Ireland in 1845/46, and the story of the Irish peace process as negotiated by Senator George Mitchell in 1998. The book fuses these stories with fictional narratives of women spanning the course of two centuries. (From Wikipedia. Retrieved 5/22/2013.)




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