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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

National Book Award Winner

The winners of the 2009 National Book Awards were announced last week.

The winner for Fiction is Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann [F MCC]. From the publishers's synopsis:
Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.
Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the "artistic crime of the century." A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence.
The "artistic crime of the century" referred to is the daring feat of Philippe Petit, highwire artist, who walked between the Twin Towers in 1974.

Petit is the subject of an intriguing film called Man on Wire [DVD MAN], and also a children's picture book by the award-winning writer/illustrator, Mordecai Gerstein, The Man Who Walked between the Towers [JP GER].

Here's an interesting interview with Petit from Psychology Today.

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