McCann wins biggest literary award

It was a big week for Irish winners. Writer Colum McCann captured a major among literary prizes when he scooped the International Impac Dublin Literary Award at a ceremony in Dublin.

The prize comes with a check for €100,000.

McCann, Dublin-born but based in New York, where he teaches at Hunter College in Manhattan, is a previous winner of the National Book Award.

As with the National book Award, McCann's Impac win came on the strength of his bestselling novel, "Let The Great World Spin," a tale set in the New York of the 1970s, but also one that the author has described as his personal response to the tragedy of 9/11.

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"Let The Great World Spin received the highest number of nominations, 14 in total, from library-based judges around the world.

McCann, a former Irish Echo Irish American of the Year, told the Irish Times after winning the Impac prize that it had a particular meaning for him because it was an Irish as well as an international award.