"It was the dilemma of the watchers"

Earlier this week, Collum McCann’s novel Let the Great World Spin won this year’s National Book Award for fiction. The story takes place in New York City in 1974. A street full of people stands rapt as a tightrope walker crosses between the towers of the World Trade Center. McCann follows their lives after the event, eventually bringing them together again for an astounding finale.

Dave Eggers said, “This is a gorgeous book, multilayered and deeply felt, and it’s a damned lot of fun to read, too.” The New York Times said, “Let the Great World Spin is an emotional tour de force.”

Is it true? Find out for yourself. Random House has posted a long excerpt here.–David E