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Thursday 24 July 2014

Author McCann opens up on 'cowardly' US assault

Mark O'Regan

Published 04/07/2014|02:30

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Author Colum McCann
Author Colum McCann

BEST-SELLING Irish novelist Colum McCann has described as "shocking and cowardly" an assault which left him with a broken cheekbone, damaged teeth and concussion.

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The award-winning writer was beaten up in broad daylight on Saturday night in New Haven, Connecticut. It is believed he was trying to help a woman who was involved in an argument at the time.

An off-duty paramedic rushed to the aid of the New York-based novelist.

"I was trying to help someone out. I was cold-clocked without warning," he said.

"But I am recovering quickly and I've been overwhelmed by the generous response from friends and strangers alike. Luckily, there was an off-duty paramedic on the street and he came straight to my aid."

Ironic

The writer behind the award-winning novel 'Let the Great World Spin' said he found it ironic that he was attending a conference on "Empathy" at Yale University with a non-profit he is involved in called 'Narrative 4'.

The author, who lives in New York, said he has been particularly impressed by "the genuine caring nature of people" asking about how they can help.

"What I think is most important about this is that there are others who suffer far worse violence, and I think it's important that we try to understand that the deep roots of silence are not helpful.

"We need to speak out against this sort of thing," he stressed.

It is understood a suspect will be arrested on the basis of video and witness evidence.

"It could have happened anywhere in the world. The fact that it happened on the edge of one of the world's foremost colleges campuses simply highlights how prevalent this sort of situation is.

McCann's first short story in a decade 'Gone' has just been released through the online publisher and subscription service Byliner.

Irish Independent

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