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Brooklyn Bookbeat: Acclaimed writer previews latest novel at St. Francis College

Award-winning writer Colum McCann will preview his forthcoming novel, “Transatlantic,” on Wednesday, April 17 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. Photo courtesy of Brendan Bourke

From St. Francis College

Award-winning writer Colum McCann (“Let the Great World Spin,” “Zoli”) will offer a preview of his forthcoming novel “Transatlantic” as the next author to speak for the Walt Whitman Writers Series on Wednesday, April 17 at 4:30pm in St. Francis College’s Maroney Forum for Arts, Culture & Education.

The Walt Whitman Series is a continuation of St. Francis College’s commitment to supporting Brooklyn’s literary community. In addition to visits by these authors, the College also offers the biennial $50,000 St. Francis College Literary Prize (entries due May 1) and helps sponsor and host events for the Brooklyn Book Festival; giving students, faculty and the entire Brooklyn community a front row seat to some of the best and most diverse professional writers at work today. 

Transatlantic explores the links between three important trips from America to Ireland spread across 150 years. In 1845 black American slave Frederick Douglass lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine unfurling at his feet. In 1919, two brave young airmen, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, emerge from the carnage of World War One to pilot the very first transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. And in 1998 American senator George Mitchell crisscrosses the ocean in search of a lasting Irish peace. 

McCann will be the eighth writer to visit St. Francis for the Walt Whitman Series which continues to bring top contemporary authors to Brooklyn Heights to share their work and writing experiences with students, faculty and the entire Brooklyn community. Previous authors include Ben Marcus, Dinaw Mengestu, Kate Christensen, Julie Orringer, Jonathan Lethem, Darcey Steinke, and Rick Moody.  

The April 17 event will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Maroney Forum for Arts, Culture & Education is located at 180 Remsen St. in Brooklyn Heights.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Colum McCann is the author of seven works of fiction, including the National Book Award–winning novel Let the Great World Spin (Random House 2009), Zoli (Random House 2007), and Dancer (Metropolitan Books 2003). He has been the recipient of many international honors, including the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. He now lives in New York where he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing program.

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Daily coverage of Brooklyn writers, books and book events can be found in print (Brooklyn Daily Eagle) and online (brooklyneagle.com

April 16, 2013 - 10:00am


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