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Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice Audiobook, by Colum McCann Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Colum McCann Narrator: Colum McCann Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2017 ISBN: 9781524781514
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From the bestselling author of the National Book Award winner Let the Great World Spin comes a lesson in how to be a writer—and so much more than that.

Intriguing and inspirational, this book is a call to look outward rather than inward. McCann asks his readers to constantly push the boundaries of experience, to see empathy and wonder in the stories we craft and hear.

A paean to the power of language, both by argument and by example, Letters to a Young Writer is fierce and honest in its testament to the bruises delivered by writing as both a profession and a calling. It charges aspiring writers to learn the rules and even break them.

These fifty-two essays are ultimately a profound challenge to a new generation to bring truth and light to a dark world through their art.

Praise for the fiction of Colum McCann

Let the Great World Spin
Winner of the National Book Award

“One of the most electric, profound novels I have read in years.”—Jonathan Mahler, The New York Times Book Review

“There’s so much passion and humor and pure life force on every page that you’ll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed.”—Dave Eggers

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

“Reminiscent of the finest work of Michael Ondaatje and Michael Cunningham.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Another sweeping, beautifully constructed tapestry of life . . . Reading McCann is a rare joy.”The Seattle Times

Thirteen Ways of Looking
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

“The irreducible mystery of human experience ties this small collection together, and in each of these stories McCann explores that theme in strikingly effective ways.”The Washington Post

“Extraordinary . . . incandescent.”—Chicago Tribune Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “The author is generous with useful, hard-won knowledge, but isn’t averse to mussing the hair of precious literary myths, warning against..dishonor[ing] literature’s living portrait of humanity and the power of language not only to thrill and enchant but to bear witness and inspire others into honest exploration and—occasionally—transcendence.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A demonstration of how precision, care, and hard work are the writer’s crucial tools. McCann…draws upon twenty years of teaching to offer more than fifty brief chapters focused on all stages of the writing process…Pithy, wise, and gently encouraging advice from an acclaimed fiction writer.

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Colum McCann lends a personable voice to his warm words of advice for budding writers. Although McCann is fast becoming one of the most respected novelists of our time, he reads and writes with humility, charm, and earnest good intention. He brings the affability of a reader who does not focus on acting as a profession, and the end result is something akin to a fireside conversation with a favorite uncle…McCann’s reading is intimate, casual, and wise. Writer or not, young or not, the listener will find gems in McCann’s writings that will leave them optimistic and entertained.”


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About the Author

Colum McCann is the author of two short-story collections and a number of acclaimed novels. He has received a Pushcart Prize, the Rooney Prize, the Hennessy Award, and been an IMPAC finalist. In 2002 he was named the first winner of the Princess Grace Memorial Literary Award. A contributor to the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and GQ, he lives in New York City with his wife and children.