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Steven Colbert and Colum McCann talk '50 Shades,' James Joyce

August 13, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg

What do a National Book Award-winning novelist and popular TV host Stephen Colbert talk about when they get together?

"Fifty Shades of Grey," of course. And also James Joyce.

Colum McCann, who won the National Book Award for his novel "Let the Great World Spin," appeared on the Colbert Report last week and it's too good to miss. Not because it's Colbert's funniest segment -- it's not -- but in it he really seems to want to talk about books.

Colbert says that has read James Joyce's "Ulysses" but not E.L. James "Fifty Shades of Grey" (though that may have changed.)

McCann was born and brought up in Ireland but is now a New Yorker, another focus of his discussion with Colbert. McCann's new novel, "Transatlantic," is a multigenerational story of people crossing between the two countries. 


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