Acclaimed Irish writer Colum McCann lists both Roddy Doyle and Jospeh O’Connor among his favourite writers in an interview intoday’s New York Times.
“I have to say that in terms of contemporary Irish literature, nobody has turned it inside out as profoundly as Roddy Doyle, “ says the award-winning author of Let The Great World Spin. “He’s one of our greats.”
Some fiction writers tend to shun reading a lot of fiction themselves, but not McCann. He is constantly reading novels and short stories, and checking out new writers.
“I’m sure my postman must hate me. I sometimes get 20 or more books a week from publishers looking for a shout-out for new and young writers — and that doesn’t include the ones the publishers expect me to download. It’s just impossible to get to them all. But there are times I get a book from a former student and it jolts me alive.
He was asked about movie adaptations of books. “I was on a plane recently and re-watched A River Runs Through It. I think that was an excellent adaptation of a great book. It’s such a difficult thing to do.”
McCann is currently adapting Let The Great World Spin with noted Hollywood director J. J. Abrams.
“To adapt a book you have to be able to lift it in the air, let it fall, then reassemble the shattered pieces, he says. “J. J. knows how to get the mosaic right. I hope eventually it will be my favorite movie adaptation.
Asked which books have left him cold, he replies pithily: “I like the Northern Irish line in relation to this sort of question: Whatever you say, say nothing.”