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Colum McCann Assaulted in New Haven

Irish author Colum McCann has been assaulted and severely beaten in New Haven, Connecticut. The author of TransAtlantic and Let The Great World Spin apparently intervened in a dispute to defend a woman, and suffered a concussion, a broken cheekbone and broken teeth. Fortunately an off-duty paramedic was able to provide immediate first aid and McCann is recovering quickly. In a press statement he described the incident as "a shocking, cowardly attack in broad daylight on a busy street"  but added 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."

Although New Haven is home to one of America's most prestigious and wealthy universties, Yale, the decades since the 1960s have seen the decline of its economy and population, and a steep rise in crime levels. As recently as 2011 it was rated the 4th most dangerous city in America and violent crime rates are several times higher than the national average. McCann had been attending a conference at the university.