June 20, 2011 | Hunter College
Hunter College Distinguished Lecturer Colum McCann has won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his latest novel, Let the Great World Spin. McCann’s novel was selected from 10 shortlisted titles by a panel of judges, who described his book as “a genuinely 21st century novel that speaks to its time but is not enslaved by it.” The prize of over $140,000 is one of the world’s most lucrative literary prizes.
Complex and multilayered, the novel opens in 1974 New York City with a tightrope walk across the World Trade Center Towers. The novel shifts to the interwoven lives of, as McCann describes it, “a number of different people who live on the ground, or, rather, people who walk the ground’s tightrope.”
McCann has also won the 2009 National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin.
Previous winners of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award include another Hunter College professor — Michael Thomas, author of Man Gone Down. Thomas, a Hunter College alumnus, currently teaches creative writing at Hunter. McCann teaches fiction in the college’s MFA program.