"What a spectacular gift, really—it should knock us to the ground with humility. . . the fact that we can weave something real out of the imaginative realm."
Conversations with Colum McCann
brings together eighteen interviews
with a world-renowned fiction writer.
Ranging from his 1994 literary debut,
Fishing the Sloe-Black River, to a new
and unpublished interview conducted
in 2016, these interviews represent
the development as well as the continuation of McCann's interests.
The number and length of the later conversations attest to his
star-power. Let the Great World Spin earned him the National Book
Award and promises to become a major motion picture. His most
recent novel, TransAtlantic, has awed readers with its dynamic
yoking of the 1845-46 visit of Frederick Douglass to Ireland, the
1919 first nonstop transatlantic flight of Alcock and Brown, and
Senator George Mitchell's 1998 efforts to achieve a peace accord in
Northern Ireland. An extensive interview by scholar Cécile Maudet
is included here, as is an interview by John Cusatis, who wrote
Understanding Colum McCann, the first extensive critical analysis
of McCann's work.
An author who actually enjoys talking about his work,
McCann (b. 1965) offers insights into his method of writing, what
he hopes to achieve, as well the challenge of writing each novel
to go beyond his accomplishments in the novel before. Readers
will note how many of his responses include stories in which he
himself is the object of the humor and how often his remarks reveal
insights into his character as a man who sees the grittiness of the
urban landscape but never loses faith in the strength of ordinary
people and their capacity to prevail.
Earl G. Ingersoll, Churchville, New York, is Distinguished
Professor Emeritus of English at SUNY College at Brockport. He has
written, edited, and coedited many books, including Conversations
with May Sarton, Conversations with Rita Dove, and Conversations
with Anthony Burgess, all from University Press of Mississippi.
Mary C. Ingersoll, Churchville, New York, is a retired elementary
school teacher who specialized in teaching humanities to gifted
224 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction, chronology, index