Colum McCann and the Aesthetics of Redemption


Eóin Flannery

Colum McCann is a best-selling international author, whose novel Let the Great World Spin won the US National Book Award in 2009. This is the first book to engage with McCann’s writing, and is accessible. The book provides full coverage of all of McCann’s fictional works to date and an extended interview with Colum McCann.

ISBN: 9780716530503 Categories: ,


Taking account of all of McCann’s literary fiction to date, Eóin Flannery considers the ways in which the writer navigates and negotiates between Ireland and the international, and between the past and the contemporary. Unlike many other Irish writers, McCann’s fiction is not limited by the ‘Irish experience’, but neither is it slavishly global. He transcends the limitations of nationality by exploring the interactions of many different nationalities and cultures.

McCann’s Irish heritage is a valuable resource in his engagement with the disenfranchised in Irish-American, African-American, and Eastern European histories during the twentieth-century. Flannery argues that McCann’s writing re-imagines the possibilities of contemporary Irish fiction, it places Irish history, Irish writing, and Irish cultural life into artistic and ethical dialogue with other marginal cultures.

Table of Contents

  1. Arrival and Departure: Fishing the Sloe-Black River
  2. Rites of Passage: Songdogs
  3. The Retrieval of Dignity: This Side of Brightness
  4. Hope and Youth: Everything in This Country Must
  5. Narrative and Performance: Dancer
  6. Embracing the ‘Other’: Zoli
  7. ‘Burning from the Inside Out’: Let The Great World Spin

About the Author

Eóin Flannery is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of Versions of Ireland: Empire, Modernity and Resistance in Irish Culture (2006); Ireland and Postcolonial Studies: Theory, Discourse, Utopia (2009).