Internationally bestselling author Colum McCann takes to the Festival stage to talk about a subject he has not discussed publicly until now: his history as a badminton player. The award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin and Apeirogon opens up about his stints playing for Ireland’s Leinster team (“we would have lost to ourselves”), arriving at his prom date’s house in his white playing shorts, why the sport is harder than it looks and why he has no intention of resurrecting his badminton career some 30 years since retiring the racquet.

Colum McCann (International)

Colum McCann

Colum McCann is the author of seven novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China and an Oscar nomination. In 2017, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts. His work has been published in more than 40 languages. He is the Co-Founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. His latest novel is Apeirogon, a story of two fathers in Israel and Palestine.

Angus Dalton (Australian)

Angus Dalton

Angus Dalton is the co-founding editor of Sweaty City, an independent magazine about climate change and urban ecology that launched in February 2020. His stories about octopuses, city-dwelling water dragons and rogue rescue dogs have appeared in Best Australian Science Writing 2019, Voiceworks, Overland and Australian Geographic. He has worked as the Editorial Manager of Good Reading magazine, Editor-in-Chief of Grapeshot and Fiction Intern at Kill Your Darlings. He is currently a Marketing & PR Executive at Simon & Schuster.