This Side of Brightness_McCann
2000 Shortlist

This Side of Brightness

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Set in underground Manhattan, past and present, Colum McCann’s second novel is a magnificent blend of imagination and history. In the early years of the century, Nathan Walker leaves the Okefenokee swamps of his native Georgia for New York City and the most dangerous job in America. A sandhog, he burrows beneath the East River, digging the underground tunnel that will carry trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan. In the bowels of the riverbed the sandhogs – black, white, Irish, Italian – dig together; above ground, though, the men keep their distance until a spectacular accident welds a bond between Walker and his fellow sandhogs that will bless and curse the next three generations. Years later, Treefrog, a homeless man driven below by a shameful secret, endures a punishing winter deep in his subway nest. In tones ranging from bleak to dark to disturbingly funny, Treefrog recounts his strategies of survival – killing rats, scavenging for soda cans, washing in the snow, sleeping through the cold – in New York’s netherworld. Between Nathan Walker and Treefrog stretch seventy years of ill-fated loves, unintended crimes, and social taboos. In a triumph of plotting, the two stories fuse to form a tale of family, race, and redemption that is as beautifully constructed as it is masterfully told. In This Side of Brightness, Colum McCann delivers a novel as bold and fabulous as New York City itself.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Colum
McCann

Colum McCann is the author of seven novels, three collections of stories and two works of non-fiction. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the U.S National Book Award, the International Dublin Literary Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts.  His work has been published in over 40 languages.  He is the President and co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4. He is the Thomas Hunter Writer in Residence in Hunter College, in New York, where he lives with his wife Allison and their family.  His most recent novel, Apeirogon, became an immediate New York Times best-seller and won several major international awards.  His first major non-fiction book, American Mother, will be published in January 2024.

Colum McCann is the author of seven novels, three collections of stories and two works of non-fiction. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the U.S National Book Award, the International Dublin Literary Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts.  His work has been published in over 40 languages.  He is the President and co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4. He is the Thomas Hunter Writer in Residence in Hunter College, in New York, where he lives with his wife Allison and their family.  His most recent novel, Apeirogon, became an immediate New York Times best-seller and won several major international awards.  His first major non-fiction book, American Mother, will be published in January 2024.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
15/04/1998
Country
Ireland
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
Metropolitan Books

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