Friday, 27 November 2009
McCann wins the National Book Award.
Novelist Colum McCann became the first Irish author to win one of America’s most prestigious literary awards – The National Book Award for Fiction. The stated purpose of the awards is “to celebrate the best of American literature”. To be eligible for consideration, a book must have been published by a US publisher and its author must be an American citizen. McCann was born and raised in Dublin, but has lived in the US since 1994. Let the Great World Spin is set around the 1974 tightrope walk of French acrobat, Philippe Petit. McCann uses this event as a motif around which to assemble the stories of ten New York characters and to produce a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. His previous novels include Dancer and Zoli. Previous winners of the award include William Faulkner, Philip Roth, Saul Bellow and John Updike.