Colum McCann and Edna O’Brien

Now on my second half of season ticket, I am really enjoying this author series! Last night was Colum McCann and Edna O’Brien. I haven’t ever read any of her stories that I can remember, but she seemed a contrary old feminist. Her books were banned and burned in the 1960’s and she hob knobbed with movie stars. She seemed to think that her creativity came from her loneliness and embraced it, mostly, until she was called on it. That is when Colum McCann said he was joyful about his ability to find the darker parts of humanity and remained a happy man.

I have read Colum McCann, but only Dancer. And it was magnificent. I guess he takes history and┬ápersonalizes it, fictionalizes it. It’s amazing. He is a deep thinker, you can tell, but still humble. He said that when you read Joyce (admired authors) were generous that they would give the gift of personalizing experience. Not giving or creating art as much as a giving a part of themselves. It made me feel hopeful.

The most impressive thing of the night is a project that McCann is part of called Narrative 4. It’s goal is to get people to tell each other’s story. So I would tell yours and you would tell mine, and in that way, we would understand each other. It’s brilliant, really. So simple yet so powerful. What if we could use technology to slip inside each other’s skin and know what it was like to be them?