Best Selling Author to Speak at University Oct. 6

Book highlights the real-life friendship between two fathers — one Israeli and one Palestinian —united by loss.
Best Selling Author to Speak at University Oct. 6

Colum McCann, the award-winning author of seven novels and three collections of short stories, will offer a virtual book talk hosted by The University of Scranton on Tuesday on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 5 p.m. McCann will be joined by Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin, the Co-Directors of Parents Circle – Families Forum, a grassroots organization of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families who work for peace. This special virtual event is hosted by the University’s Political Dialogue initiative, in partnership with the Schemel Forum and the Slattery Center for the Humanities. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Registration is required at

McCann is the co-founder of Narrative 4, an international story exchange organization. He will speak about his most recent novel, “Apeirogon” (named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides), which is a story rooted in the real-life friendship between two fathers – one Israeli and one Palestinian – united by loss of their daughters. Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives.

The New York Times book review described “Apeirogon” as a “powerful and prismatic new novel,” saying “McCann’s brilliant act of novel-making builds a wholly believable and infinitely faceted reality around Rami’s and Bassam’s first-person accounts, a rich and comprehensive context that allows us into the fathers’ experiences, their histories, their minds.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners acquired the film rights to the book. 

McCann’s novel “TransAtlantic,” published in 2013, was a New York Times best-seller and his novel “Let the Great World Spin,” published in 2009, became a best-seller on four continents and won the 2009 National Book Award in the U.S., the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, a literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and several other major international literary prizes. In 2017, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts. McCann received the 2014 Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award from The University of Scranton’s Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library. His work has been published in over 40 languages. A native of Ireland who now resides in New York, McCann also teaches in the MFA program at Hunter College.

The University’s Political Dialogue initiative, which includes student political dialogues, facilitation trainings, and other civic engagement activities, blends the reflective, structured dialogue methods of national non-profit Essential Partners with St. Ignatius of Loyola’s teachings of discernment and reflection. On the afternoon of October 2nd, the University will host a facilitator training workshop with Narrative 4 on their story exchange model that will include University faculty and staff and colleagues from community organizations and colleges and universities.

The Oct. 2 story exchange workshop is hosted by Narrative 4 and The University’s Scranton’s Political Dialogue Initiative. Co-sponsors include the University’s Schemel Forum and the Slattery Center for the Humanities.

To register for the Oct. 6 event, please visit

For additional information, contact the University’s Office of Community and Government Relations at 570-941-4419 or by email at

Back to Top