A NoveleBook - 2013
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Prix Femina, TransAtlantic is an ambitious and moving novel from the award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin
In Let the Great World Spin, the winner of the National Book Award, Colum McCann thrilled readers with a high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called “an emotional tour de force.” Now McCann demonstrates once again why he is one of the most acclaimed and essential authors of his generation with a soaring novel that spans continents, leaps centuries and unites a cast of deftly rendered characters, both real and imagined.
In 1845, a black American slave lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine ravaging the countryside and the poor suffering from hardships that astonish even him. In 1919, two brave young airmen emerge from the carnage of the First World War to pilot the first non-stop transatlantic flight, from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. And in 1998, an American senator crosses the ocean to shepherd Northern Ireland’s notoriously volatile peace talks to an uncertain conclusion.
Taking these stories as his point of departure, Colum McCann weaves the lives of Frederick Douglass, John Alcock and Teddy Brown, and Senator George Mitchell into a tapestry that is provocative, ambitious and unforgettable. Intertwined with them are the lives of a series of remarkable women whose personal stories are caught up in the swells of history. Can we pass from the new world to the old? How does the past shape the future? The bestselling TransAtlantic is a profound meditation on time, space and memory and the most mature work yet from an incomparable storyteller.
From the critics
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“Cynicism is easy. An optimist is a braver cynic.”
“The tunnels of our lives connect, coming to daylight at the oddest moments, and then plunge us into the dark again. We return to the lives of those who have gone before us, a perplexing möbius strip until we come home, eventually, to ourselves.”
“We seldom know what echo our actions will find, but our stories will most certainly outlast us.”
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