Colum McCann’s “Transatlantic”
Contemporary Irish Fiction
Colum McCann, a Dublin native, is an acclaimed author of postmodern literary fiction. He won the 2009 National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin, an allegory of 9/11. In 2013, he published the novel TransAtlantic, described by the New York Times Magazine: “What distinguishes TransAtlantic from [Colum] McCann’s earlier work isn’t the stunning language or the psychological acuity or the humor and imagination on display—all of that has been there before. It’s the sheer ambition, the audacity to imagine within the same novel the experience of Frederick Douglass in 1845…then the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight in 1919…then to leap into the near-present and embody the former senator George Mitchell…knitting through and around them the stories of four generations of women.” Join us for a deep read of TransAtlantic, learning how it fits within the wider scope of the history of the Irish novel, and postmodern literary trends blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction, including McCann’s self-description of his novels as Hybrid Fiction, and similar innovations—autobiografiction, autofiction, and the use of fiction techniques in memoir. For a recent conversation with Colum McCann, see Colum McCann: Lecture and Discussion Notes.
6 Sessions: Thursdays 6:30-8:00 p.m. January 28-March 4; 1/28; 2/4/; 2/11; 2/18; 2/25; & 3/4.
Course text: Colum McCann Transatlantic (2013).
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