McCann-1
2015 Shortlist

TransAtlantic

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

In 1919 Emily Ehrlich watches as two young airmen, Alcock and Brown, emerge from the carnage of World War One to pilot the very first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. In 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. And in 1998 Senator George Mitchell criss-crosses the ocean in search of an elusive Irish peace. Stitching these stories intricately together, Colum McCann sets out to explore the fine line between what is real and what is imagined, and the tangled skein of connections that make up our lives.

Judges’ Comments

Colum McCann, always a generous writer, has given us three stories in one novel: former slave and black abolitionist, Frederick Douglass pays a visit to famine-stricken Ireland; pioneer airmen Alcock and Brown, make the first non-stop transatlantic flight; George Mitchell, American senator, struggles to oversee the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast. The lives of these men connect across time and the Atlantic Ocean, in this beautifully crafted and courageous novel.

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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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

TransAtlantic is a brilliant fusing of three stories in various historical periods that shows the progress of society and impact of historical wrongs set in Newfoundland, Dublin and New York. Colum McCann’s writing is brilliant, he creates characters with rich voices who are interconnected in this migration story. Longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Lyrical and stylish, McCann’s latest Hiberno-American novel follows significant men of American history and their visits to Ireland, adding texture to the past by exploring the people who supported them and the way their pasts and futures interact.

A very clever and engrossing read, intertwining three stories in amazing detail. Beautifully written.

TransAtlantic is a delight to read. Through writing that is both lyrically lush and detailed, the reader meets fascinating characters, historically grounded in the 19th and 20th centuries, who are deftly linked through their connections to Ireland and America.

A one-of-a-kind novel, TransAtlantic deftly blends fact and fiction in short descriptive phrases from which truth emerges. The novel flows like a gentle stream, each protagonist’s interior landscape of impressions, sights, sounds and feelings being precisely chronicled within.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
23/05/2013
Author
Publisher
Bloomsbury

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