Harman Writer-In-Residence, Spring 2004
Colum McCann, the Spring 2004 Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence, is the award-winning author of three novels and two short story collections. Originally from Ireland, Mr. McCann has lived and traveled in many countries, including an 18-month bicycle trip across North America. His fiction has been praised by critics as brave, concise, penetrating, and uniquely international. For This Side of Brightness, Mr. McCann lived with the homeless people of the subway tunnels of Manhattan. In his novel Dancer, he investigated lives both real and imagined in order to create a daring fictional portrait of the world-famous dancer Rudolf Nureyev. In the year 2000, Joyce Carol Oates wrote of Mr. McCann’s short story collection Everything in This Country Must, “no more beautifully cadenced and moving collection of short fiction is likely to appear this year.”
Mr. McCann’s awards for writing include the Irish Novel of the Year Award for Dancer, the Writer of the Year Award from Esquire Magazine 2003, the inaugural Princess Grace Memorial Award 2002, The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Butler Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Hennessy Award for Irish Writing. He has been a contributor to The New York Times, The Times of London, The New Yorker, GQ, Atlantic Monthly, and several other publications. His work has been published in 20 different languages. He has also written several screenplays.
Mr. McCann currently lives in New York with his wife and children. (December 2003)
Colum McCann’s short film Everything in this Country Must, directed by Gary McKendry, was nominated for an Academy Award Oscar in 2005. His recent publications include Zoli (2007), a novel about a Gypsy woman exiled for betraying her people, and Let the Great World Spin (2009), a novel on Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers. His fiction has been published in 30 languages.
In May 2009, Mr. McCann was inducted into Aosdana, the equivalent of the Irish Academy, one of Ireland’s highest literary honours. In fall 2009, he will be awarded both a French Legion d’honneur by the French government, in recognition for his literary contribution, and the Deauxville Festival of Cinema Literary Prize in Deauxville, France.
Mr. McCann teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Hunter College, CUNY. (June 2009)