AUTHOR | colum mCcann


Colum McCann was born in Dublin in 1965 and began his writing career as a journalist for The Irish Times. After living and working in various countries and a variety of jobs, he and his wife moved to New York. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Hunter College in New York.

Colum has written seven novels and three collections of stories, including Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award and Transatlantic. His work has been published in over 40 languages, and covers subjects wide and deep. Apeirogon won the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction and was longlisted for the Booker Prize.

He has received many international awards, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts.

Colum is very active in Narrative 4, the global charity that he co-founded in 2013.

              "I believe in the democracy of story-telling," said McCann in an interview. “I love the fact that our stories can cross all sorts of
                borders and boundaries. I feel humbled by the notion that I’m even a small part of the literary experience. I grew up in a house, in
                a city, in a country shaped by books. I don’t know of a greater privilege than being allowed to tell a story, or to listen to a story.
                They’re the only thing we have that can trump life itself."

Colum holds dual US and Irish citizenships and lives in New York City with his family.

WATCH: McCann interviewed for Duke U’s Kenan Institute for Ethics 
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Apeirogon by Colum McCann

In geometry, an apeirogon or infinite polygon is a polygon with a countably infinite number of sides. In literature, the term apeirogon may refer only to the regular apeirogon, with an infinite dihedral group of symmetries.

Colum McCann’s most recent novel, Apeirogon, consists of many sides and complex parts that are meticulously woven together. It is rooted in a real-life friendship between two men united by loss. Crafted from fictional and non-fictional material, this novel crosses continents and centuries, tying together time, politics, nature, and history. Apeirogon has everything we have come to expect from Colum McCann: intertwined history and private lives; deficiencies and marvels of the human spirit; layers of complexity made compelling and intriguing; empathy and intelligence.

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. These fathers, one Palestinian, one Israeli, live in a world of conflict that affects every aspect of their daily lives. Their worlds change forever when the daughter of one man is killed by a rubber bullet, the daughter of the other by suicide bombers. The fathers learn of each others’ stories, recognize the loss in each other, and attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace. McCann tells a story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.

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