Colum McCann, author of the summer book read, “Zoli,” opened the 2011 Symposium by calling on Concordia students to tell the stories that might get us in trouble.

“In today’s world, books die more rapidly than fireflies,” McCann said Tuesday night during the plenary session. His novel, “Zoli,” sheds light on Gypsy culture that often goes unnoticed or undervalued in literature.

McCann, winner of Amazon’s 2009 Book of the Year Award, shared with students packed into Memorial Auditorium that serious art has been marginalized, due to the technology that has put limits on our imagination. We can combat this, he said, if we are optimistic about the value of our work.

“There is a charge upon an artist’s heart to grapple with the darkness and find purpose, meaning, truth and beauty,” McCann said.

The session concluded with a question and answer period in which McCann engaged in dialogue with students and faculty.

For more about McCann’s work and his role in the Symposium, see this Friday’s edition of The Concordian.

Stephanie Barnhart

Steph Barnhart, 2013, is a multimedia journalism and public relations major at Concordia College. She has been a contributing writer, staff writer, and the news editor for The Concordian. Steph is an optimistic vegetarian who loves sustainability blogs, green tea, and talking. Follow her on Twitter at @stephbarnhart.

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