Colum McCann

in Conversation with Dave Eggers

Recorded April 26th, 2020

Share this event

Colum McCann in conversation with Dave Eggers
Sunday, April 26th, 2020

Colum McCann is the award-winning author of seven novels and three collections of short stories. His most recent novel, Apeirogon (to be published in February 2020) has already received several rave advance reviews, including starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist.
Let the Great World Spin was published in 2009 and won worldwide acclaim, including The 2009 National Book Award in the U.S, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, the International Impac Award 2011, a literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and several other major international literary prizes.
Let the Great World Spin became a best-seller on four continents. His novel TransAtlantic was also an international sensation and became an immediate New York Times best-seller on its release in 2013. It too garnered several international awards including the Mondello Citta de Palermo Prize in Italy.
McCann’s fiction has been published in over 40 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Paris Review, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Tin House, Bomb and several other places. He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, Die Zeit, La Republicca, Paris Match, the Guardian, the Times and the Independent.
McCann is considered, in every sense, an international artist. Born in Ireland, he has travelled extensively around the world. He and his wife Allison lived in Japan for eighteen months. He currently lives in New York City, where he holds dual Irish and American citizenship. 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 a exclusive number of foreign artists recognized in France for their literary contributions: other recipients have included Salman Rushdie, Phillip Gourevitch and Julian Barnes).

The world spins. We stumble on. It is enough.”

–Let the Great World Spin

The territory of McCann’s work is international in scope and geography–his topics have ranged from homeless people in the subway tunnels of New York, to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, to the effects of 9/11, to a poetic examination of the life and culture of the Roma in Europe. He is known as a writer of style and substance, hailed by critics and readers alike. Among his major influences are Michael Ondaatje, John Berger, Don DeLillo, E.L Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Edna O’Brien and the Irish novelist Benedict Kiely. McCann is known a “poetic realist,” a writer who is known to tackle the dark in order to get through to the light–“any sort of light, however compromised”–on the far side.

Visit the Book Passage website to have any of Colum’s books delivered right to your door.

You’re sure to enjoy these Book Passage favorites:

Apeirogon: A Novel


Let the Great World Spin: A Novel


TransAtlantic: A Novel


Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice


A personal note from Colum McCann.

Sent April 27th, following his Conversations with Authors session.


What an incredible afternoon with Dave Eggers. Dave is one of my heroes in literary terms, and as an activist, and just as an all-around “decent skin” as we say in Dublin. It was astounding to feel so together even at a zooming distance. And the other astounding thing is that he remembers me beating him in ping-pong in an epic match in New York City, but I’m pretty sure he beat me. Either way, I’ll take the memory.

My books: