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Colum McCann

39 Podcast Episodes

Latest 28 Nov 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Colum McCann, author of “Let the Great World Spin” (2013)

The National Writers Series Podcast

Colum McCann’s stunning novel, “Let the Great World Spin” (winner of the National Book Award for fiction) debuted right around this time of year back in 2009, and so this week we look back on his visit to the National Writers Series in June of 2013. McCann sat down with Leigh Haber, Books Editor for O, the Oprah Magazine, for a charming and wide-ranging discussion at the City Opera House. They covered everything from the perils of being an optimist to the topic he doesn't want to invite Dr. Freud in to discuss; on why he rereads "Ulysses" every year (plus why read the naughty parts to a dead friend) and his need to “murder” a book to create a screenplay of it (for no less than JJ Abrams). If you enjoyed this discussion, we recommend you check out McCann’s nonprofit group Narrative 4, which connects writers, musicians and artists with groups of students around the globe (something close to our heart here at the NWS). Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to subscribe and give us a 5-star rating!

1hr 9mins

22 Jun 2021

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Colum McCann: The Infinite Sides of Apeirogon

College Commons

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, author Colum McCann discusses the power of storytelling as a bridge of humanity across seemingly intractable conflict.Colum McCann is the author of seven novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, 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. His work has been published in over 40 languages. He is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their family.Photo by Richard Gilligan


25 May 2021

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ILFDublin X 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award Shortlist Podcast Ep 1: Colum McCann

ILFDublin Podcast

The DUBLIN Literary Award longlist of 49 has been narrowed down to a diverse and exciting shortlist of six, and the award will be presented during ILFDublin. This exclusive limited podcast series is hosted by Maeve Higgins and Jessica Traynor. Their conversation about Apeirogon is followed by Maeve’s interview with Colum McCann. Described by Elizabeth Strout as a “wondrous book … it will bring you to your knees”, Apeirogon mixes fact with fiction about the Israel‑Palestine conflict to create an insightful and moving depiction of grief and healing. Meet your hosts. Maeve Higgins is a contributing writer for The New York Times and a comedian who has performed all over the world. Her latest essay collection will be published by Penguin US in 2022. She hosts a climate justice podcast with Mary Robinson entitled Mothers of Invention. Jessica Traynor’s debut Liffey Swim was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award, and The Quick was an Irish Times poetry choice. She co-edited Correspondences: an anthology to call for an end to direct provision with actor Stephen Rea.Presented in partnership with the DUBLIN Literary Award, a Dublin City Council initiative.


15 Apr 2021

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AWW21 Apeirogon - Colum McCann

Adelaide Writers' Week

Colum McCann’s profoundly moving masterpiece, Apeirogon, is based on a true story of a friendship between “An Israeli, against the Occupation. A Palestinian, studying the Holocaust.” United by the devastation of losing a daughter to political violence, Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan together tell their daughters’ stories over and over, to anyone that will listen, in an attempt to bring a peaceful resolution to the endless conflict. Colum’s radically empathetic novel is infused with both desperate hope and poetic power. Chaired by Sophie Cunningham

1hr 2mins

23 Mar 2021

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Author Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin

Dialogue with Marcia Franklin

Marcia Franklin talks with Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin. Called the "first great 9/11 novel" and winner of the 2009 National Book Award for fiction, the novel weaves together the stories of fictional characters all living in New York City in 1974 during the week Philippe Petit made his famous tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. Although the book barely mentions the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it is considered an homage to that day and its effect on the country. Don’t forget to subscribe, and visit the Dialogue website for more conversations that matter. Originally Aired: 12/8/2011 The interview is part of Dialogue’s series “Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference” and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together some of the world’s most well-known and illuminating authors to discuss literature and life.


21 Mar 2021

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NovelROMANtics #2: Colum McCann's Apeirogon

The Trans-Atlanticist

with Douglas Cowie and Shane CarmichaelMarch is Irish-American Heritage Month in the United States. In Episode #2 of NovelROMANtics, host Douglas Cowie and his guest Shane Carmichael discuss Apeirogon by Colum McCann, an Irish storyteller living in New York. They discuss the intersection of storytelling, conflict, and global politics with respect to McCann's multifaceted novel.


11 Mar 2021

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Colum McCann in conversation with Carlo Gébler - The ICC Digital Literary Festival Episode #6

ICC Hammersmith

The ICC Digital Literary Festival features some of the stalwarts of Irish literature alongside recent bestselling authors.This interview features author Colum McCann in conversation with Carlo Gébler.Colum is the author of seven highly acclaimed novels, including Let The Great World Spin and Transatlantic and is the recipient of numerous awards.. He has also written three collections of short stories.Colum is the President and Co-Founder of Narrative 4, a global non-profit organization which promotes storytelling and story exchange amongst young people to help improve their lives and their communities.Colum will discuss his most recent highly acclaimed novel Apeirogon (2020), which was longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020. It has also been chosen as a Book of the Year by, amongst others, the BBC, The Sunday Times, The Irish Times, The Observer and The Guardian.


26 Feb 2021

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#1698: Colum McCann “Apeirogon” | The Book Show

The Book Show

This week on The Book Show, National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann discusses his latest book, Apeirogon. The novel highlights the unlikely real-life friendship between two fathers, united by the loss of their daughters. (more…)


2 Feb 2021

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Can A Book Pave A New Path To Peace? - Colum McCann

An Irishman Abroad

Critically acclaimed Irish author Colum McCann gives us a rare insight into his latest novel and the power of storytelling. When you listen to this powerful conversation, you will not be surprised to hear that Colum has won the Rooney Prize, the Novel of the Year Award, the National Book Award and International Dublin Literary Award. His Man Booker Prize longlisted book Apeirogon has lead critics to ask if a book can bring about peace in Israel. Jarlath digs deep into the experience that lead Colum to writing this game changing work. We how his time spent working as a wilderness educator for young offenders Texas changed his path and his recollection of living in New York during 9/11. As Professor of Creative Writing in the Master of Fine Arts program at Hunter College, New York his views on the art of teaching are truly inspiring for anyone trying to spark the interest of young students. In its essence, this is a conversation about the power of listening and telling one's story and it could not have come at a better time. This is just a taster. To hear this episode in full and to gain access to the entire back-catalogue of over 400 Irishman Abroad episodes that are not available on iTunes for just the price of a pint every month visit www.patreon.com/irishmanabroad Supplementary research provided by John Meagher. Our charity partner is jigsawonline.ie. In these tricky times, Jigsaw provides a range of resources, advice and care for your people to help them strengthen their mental health and the skills needed to navigate life. Please visit their website and consider making a donation. For updates on future episodes and live shows follow @jarlath on Twitter, visit www.jigser.com or email the show directly on irishmanabroadpodcast@gmail.com. Disclaimer: All materials contained within this podcast are copyright protected. Third party reuse and/or quotation in whole or in part is prohibited unless direct credit and/or hyperlink to the Irishman Abroad podcast is clearly and accurately provided.


15 Nov 2020

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Colum McCann: Storytelling Is An Act of Courage

The Telos Channel

Apeirogon: a shape with a countably infinite number of sides, and the title of award-winning author Colum McCann’s newest novel. Colum wrote the New York Times Bestseller after meeting Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin, featured in Episode 4 of this season, on a trip with Telos to Israel/Palestine. Apeirogon tells their stories, blending fact and fiction in a dazzling dance of 1001 short chapters, immersed in the complexity of their stories and the conflict itself.In this episode, we learn more about Apeirogon, explore ideas of courage, optimism, and storytelling as essential acts of peacemaking, and ask, “How do we speak truth in a way that people can hear?”Learn more about ApeirogonLearn more about Narrative 4, the global empathy building non-profit co-founded by ColumLearn more about TelosFollow Telos on Facebook, Instagram, and TwitterSupport our show by becoming a Patron


13 Nov 2020