Marcia Franklin talks with Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin. The book, which has been called the "first great 9/11 novel," won the 2009 National Book Award for fiction, and was Amazon.com's 2009 Book of the Year.
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.
Franklin talks with the Irish-born McCann about what prompted him to write the work, as well as the themes behind his other books, which include This Side of Brightness, about dwellers in the subway tunnels of New York City; Zoli, about a Roma woman in Europe; and Dancer, based on the life of Rudolf Nureyev. McCann has also written several collections of short stories.
The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005. This year's, and previous years', conversations can be found at the Dialogue Sun Valley Writers site.