Interviews with Colum McCann


Video Trailer for Apeirogon

This is the first in a series of short videos where Colum McCann talks about his new novel, Apeirogon. “A work of incredible magnitude . . . McCann finds the emotional accuracy, the sensitivity, and the beauty to tell the heartbreaking reality of life in Israel-Palestine, while allowing readers a glimmer of necessary hope. Apeirogon is greater…

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Colum McCann and Pól Ó Braonáin

Aoibhinn meets writer Colum Mc Cann and musician Pól Ó Braonáin who have collaborated on a song called Transatlantic, based on Colum’s novel of the same name and featured on Clannad’s new album Nadur. Listen >

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Thirteen Ways of Looking – Interview

One of Ireland’s best known writers, his novel, Transatlantic  was long listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2013, while Let the Great World Spin won the National Book Award in the US. 

His novels and collections of short stories frequently appear on best seller lists around the world. Colum McCann has just published his latest collection of short stories Thirteen Ways of Looking and he joined Sean in studio.

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Colum with Pat Kenny on RTE Radio1

Colum with Pat Kenny on RTE Radio1 (Irish radio) May 20, 2013

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PEN Conversation with Michael Ondaatje

“Adventures in the Skin Trade”

A conversation with Michael Ondaatje and Colum McCann at the New York Public Library in conjunction with the PEN World Voices festival 2008.

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National Book Award Interview

Interview conducted by Bret Anthony Johnston. Bret Anthony Johnston: First, congratulations on Let the Great World Spin being named a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction! Do you recall the inception of the book? Was there any image or incident or memory that triggered the writing process? Colum McCann: Thanks so much. One only has to…

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Let The Great World Spin Q&A

“..on one hand it is a simple narrative of lives entwined in the early 1970’s. Most of it takes place on one day in New York in August 1974 when Phillipe Petit (unnamed in the book) makes his tightrope walk across the World Trade Center towers, a walk that was called “the artistic crime of the 20 th century.”

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Zoli Interview: Q&A with Laura McCaffrey

What inspired you to write this novel? Well I’d just written Dancer, a fictionalisation of the life of Rudolph Nureyev, a story that ranged time periods and continents and territories. So I wanted to take it easy for a while. I wanted a smaller story. But that’s exactly what I didn’t get. My wife, Allison, was…

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Zoli Interview: Q&A with Michael Hayes

What did you know about the Roma before you started writing the book? Nothing. I came to the Romani culture empty-handed. That’s interesting, now that I finally understand it. The gadjo (non-Gypsy) comes in, swaggering, but is immediately apparent as empty-handed. What an idiot he is. He thinks he can watch. Even worse, he thinks…

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Dancer Interview

Colum interviewed by Declan Meade, Stinging Fly Magazine, 2003   This is ostensibly the story of the life of Rudolf Nureyev and the lives of the people around him. What inspired you to write this novel? “Ostensibly” is a good word. This is not a biography. It’s a story, a novel, a tale. For a long…

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This Side of Brightness Interview

What kind of role did “research” (everyday materials, files…) play in “This Side of Brightness”? How much did it affect the final result? At the beginning of the novel, or when I was researching it, I used to go down to the tunnels four or five times a week. I’d hang out, outside the tunnels,…

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Conversation with Sasha Hemon

Sasha: The beginning of Dancer is astonishing. You begin with a narrative that conveys the Soviet Army experience of World War 2, the subject of which is “they” and the section ends with zooming in on a six-year old boy who’s waiting for his father, one of “them”–who could be any one of them– to come…

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