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Transatlantic by Colum Mccann

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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.

In TransAtlantic, National Book Award-winning Colum McCann has achieved an outstanding act of literary bravura. Intricately crafted, poetic and deeply affecting it weaves together personal stories to explore the fine line between what is real and what is imagined, and the tangled skein of connections that make up our lives.

If you like Colum Mccann you might also like to read books by Donal Ryan, Michael Collins and John Boyne.


Transatlantic by Colum Mccann

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.

1919. Emily Ehrlich watches as two young airmen, Alcock and Brown, emerge from the carnage of the First World War to pilot the very first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. Among the letters being carried on the aircraft is one which will not be opened for almost a hundred years. 1998. Senator George Mitchell criss-crosses the ocean in search of an elusive Irish peace. How many more bereaved mothers and grandmothers must he meet before an agreement can be reached? 1845. Frederick Douglass, a black American slave, lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine unfurling at his feet. On his travels he inspires a young maid to go to New York to embrace a free world, but the land does not always fulfill its promises for her. From the violent battlefields of the Civil War to the ice lakes of northern Missouri, it is her youngest daughter Emily who eventually finds her way back to Ireland. Can we pass from the new world to the old? How does the past shape the future?


'This novel is beautifully hypnotic in its movements, from the grand (between two continents, across three centuries) to the most subtle. Silkily threading together public events and private feelings, TransAtlantic says no to death with every line. Those who can't see the point of historical novels will find their answer here: in all intelligent fiction, the past has not passed' Emma Donoghue

'Expertly constructed ... At its best, as in the superbly rendered early scene of Alcock and Brown's flight, the prose is poetically vivid' -- Mark O'Connell Observer

'Few contemporary writers are better at subtracting the sublime from the base ... A kind of cat's cradle of transatlantic journeys, all connected, all built on another thing' -- Hermione Hoby Guardian

'A challenging, beautifully woven novel about the real and imagined. Fans of Ian McEwan will love it' -- Viv Groskop Red

'McCann is no stranger to literary prizes - but if I were him, I'd start clearing my mantelpiece for a few more' -- James Walton Daily Mail

About the Author

Colum Mccann

Colum McCann was born in Dublin in 1965. His fiction has won numerous international awards including the Rooney Prize, the Ireland Fund of Monaco Princess Grace Memorial Award, a Pushcart Prize, and Esquire magazine's Writer of the Year award in 2003. In 2005 he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film. He was recently inducted into the Hennessy Hall of Fame in Dublin. His work has been published in twenty-six languages. He has travelled widely and is based in New York, where he lives with his wife and children.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Colum Mccann

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