The kaleidoscopic perspective in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin (2009): trauma and transculturality


  • María del Rosario Casas Coelho Universidad de Burgos



Let the Great World Spin, Transculturality, Transnationalism, Trauma healing, Bonding


This article argues that Colum McCann’s novel Let the Great World Spin (2009) epitomizes the Irish transcultural novel. It portrays transculturality through a considerable diversity of damaged characters who bond to overcome a common trauma. By engaging with transcultural, transnational, and postmulticultural theories, this article analyses some of the literary features of McCann’s formal experimentation that eventually alleviate pain and foster tolerance and empathy among people with different backgrounds. Then, it explores the universalisation of trauma, where the local is made global and the characters deploy similar responses when exposed to traumatic situations. The novel, an attempt to find grace after the trauma of 9/11, presents many characters who advocate for plural perspectives and, as a kaleidoscope, it brings to the centre of the narrative the differences among people and opens possibilities for beautiful and new configurations.

Author Biography

  • María del Rosario Casas Coelho, Universidad de Burgos

    María del Rosario Casas Coelho is a Phd student at Universidad de Burgos, Spain. She holds an MA from the University of São Paulo, focusing Irish literature, and a BA in Letters – Portuguese and English from the same university.


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How to Cite

Coelho, M. del R. C. (2021). The kaleidoscopic perspective in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin (2009): trauma and transculturality. ABEI Journal, 23(1), 71-84.