'The comfort from the hard cold truth - the filth, the war, the poverty - was that life could be capable of small beauties.' New York, August 1974. A man is walking in the sky and the city stands still, captivated by this sight, awe and disbelief filling the streets. Philipe Petit is making his famous tightrope walk across the World Trade Centre and the lives of seven people will change forever: the Christ-like Corrigan, an Irish priest living in the Bronx with a conclave of hookers; a young woman artist in trouble with drugs and her marriage; a thirteen year old photographer obsessed with graffiti; a Park Avenue mother struggling to come to terms with the death of her son in Vietnam; her husband, a judge in a downtown court; Lillie the hooker; Gloria, her neighbour, whose life will collide with hers. Set against a time of sweeping political and social change, from the imminent resignation of Nixon to the beginnings of the Internet, the burgeoning minimalist art movement to the lingering sceptre of the oil crisis, a single audacious event will intricately bind these apparent strangers, transforming their lives forever. With prose that is at once immediate, lyrical and dazzling, Let The Great World Spin weaves together and celebrates the intimacies - 'small beauties' - of human life whilst vividly capturing the effervescent spirit of an age. Foreshadowing the sinister beginnings of the many luxuries we now take for granted, Colum McCann's Let The Great World Spin stands as a haunting evocation of human endeavour in the face of timeless cultural anxiety.
Colum McCann, originally from Dublin, Ireland, is the author of five novels and two collections of stories. He has won numerous international literary awards, including the inaugural Ireland Fund of Monaco Princess Grace Memorial Award. His film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for a short-film Oscar in 2005. Zoli, Dancer and This Side of Brightness were international bestsellers and his fiction has been published in twenty-seven languages. He lives in New York.