Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
A Novel

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In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.

Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.
Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a “fiercely original talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Colum McCann's Transatlantic.

About Colum McCann

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Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as two critically acclaimed story collections. His fiction has been published in thirty languages. He has been a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was the inaugural winner of the Ireland Fund of Monaco Literary Award in Memory of Princess Grace. He has been named one of Esquire's "Best and Brightest," and his short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. A contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review, he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing Program. He lives in New York City with his wife and their three children.
Published June 16, 2009 by Random House. 369 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Let the Great World Spin

Publishers Weekly

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McCann's sweeping new novel hinges on Philippe Petit's illicit 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers. It is the aftermath, in which Petit appears in the courtroom of Judge Solomon S

Mar 09 2009 | Read Full Review of Let the Great World Spin: A N...

The New York Times

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Four years after the publication of “Let the Great World Spin,” Colum McCann’s magnificent, cathartic 9/11 novel continues to help people cope with tragedy.

May 30 2013 | Read Full Review of Let the Great World Spin: A N...

New York Journal of Books

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How many times can a person read about stretching a practice cable in a meadow .

Jan 16 2017 | Read Full Review of Let the Great World Spin: A N...

A Patchwork of Books

He signed more than 150 cd-covers both as illustrator and photograph, amid them: Toad The Wet Sprocket , Cemetary , The Clinton Administration, The Watchmen, Matt Molloy, Klaus Schulze, Steve Morse, Skynni Puppy, Fla, Machine Head, James Murphy, Alice Cooper , Bill Bruford Earthworks , Fear Facto...

Jun 16 2014 | Read Full Review of Let the Great World Spin: A N...

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Ben Labovitz

Ben Labovitz 23 Nov 2013

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