Let the Great World Spin

Winner, National Book Awards 2009 for Fiction

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann book cover
ISBN 9781400063734
Random House

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In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in Colum McCann’s intricate portrait of a city and its people. Let the Great World Spin is the author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.

Judges Citation

Like the funambulist at the heart of this extraordinary novel, Colum McCann accomplishes a gravity-defying feat: from ten ordinary lives he crafts an indelibly hallucinatory portrait of a decaying New York City, and offers through his generosity of spirit and lyrical gifts an ecstatic vision of the human courage required to stay aloft above the ever-yawning abyss.