- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Irish writer Colum McCann won one of the world’s most lucrative literary prizes Wednesday for his New York novel “Let the Great World Spin.”

McCann was named winner Wednesday of the euro100,000 ($143,000) IMPAC Dublin award.

Set in 1974, the book centers on French daredevil Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

McCann, 46, lives in New York and has called his book an act of hope written in part as a response to the Sept. 11 attacks. It won the 2009 National Book Award for fiction.

The IMPAC judges called it “a genuinely 21st-century novel that speaks to its time, but is not enslaved by it.”

“In the opening pages of ‘Let The Great World Spin,’ the people of New York City stand breathless and overwhelmed as a great artist dazzles them in a realm that seemed impossible until that moment,” they said. “Colum McCann does the same thing in this novel, leaving the reader just as stunned as the New Yorkers, just as moved and just as grateful.”

McCann’s book was chosen by a panel of judges from a 10-book shortlist, itself selected from 162 titles nominated by libraries around the world.

The prize is open to novels published in English, including works in translation. It is run by Dublin’s public library system and financed by Florida-based management consulting firm Improved Management Productivity and Control.

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Online:

http://www.impacdublinaward.ie