“TransAtlantic is a thoughtful and thought-provoking novel spanning the better part of two centuries. Weaving bits of history -- such as Brown and Alcock's first transatlantic flight, Frederick Douglass' visit to Ireland while still a runaway slave, and diplomat George Mitchell brokering the peace in Ireland in 1998 -- with fictional players, McCann show us how the magic of the everyday is related to the momentous. Events circle around and family stories overlap as mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons pass their personal history from one generation to the next. This is a novel to be savored.”
— Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
In the National Book Award-winning "Let the Great World Spin, "Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous 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. Newfoundland, 1919. Two aviators--Jack Alcock and Arthur Brown--set course for Ireland as they attempt the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, placing their trust in a modified bomber to heal the wounds of the Great War. Dublin, 1845 and '46. On an international lecture tour in support of his subversive autobiography, Frederick Douglass finds the Irish people sympathetic to the abolitionist cause--despite the fact that, as famine ravages the countryside, the poor suffer from hardships that are astonishing even to an American slave. New York, 1998. Leaving behind a young wife and newborn child, Senator George Mitchell departs for Belfast, where it has fallen to him, the son of an Irish-American father and a Lebanese mother, to shepherd Northern Ireland's notoriously bitter and volatile peace talks to an uncertain conclusion. These three iconic crossings are connected by a series of remarkable women whose personal stories are caught up in the swells of history. Beginning with Irish housemaid Lily Duggan, who crosses paths with Frederick Douglass, the novel follows her daughter and granddaughter, Emily and Lottie, and culminates in the present-day story of Hannah Carson, in whom all the hopes and failures of previous generations live on. From the loughs of Ireland to the flatlands of Missouri and the windswept coast of Newfoundland, their journeys mirror the progress and shape of history. They each learn that even the most unassuming moments of grace have a way of rippling through time, space, and memory. The most mature work yet from an incomparable storyteller, "TransAtlantic" is a profound meditation on identity and history in a wide world that grows somehow smaller and more wondrous with each passing year. Praise for Colum McCann's "Let the Great World Spin, "Winner of the National Book Award "One of the most electric, profound novels I have read in years."--Jonathan Mahler, "The New York Times Book Review" "There's so much passion and humor and pure life force on every page that you'll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed."--Dave Eggers "Stunning . . . an] elegiac glimpse of hope."--"USA Today" " " "Marvelously rich . . . a Joycean look at the lives of New Yorkers changed by a single act on a single day."--"The Seattle Times" "McCann's gift is] finding grace in grief and magic in the mundane, and immersing the reader in these thoroughly."--"San Francisco Chronicle" "An act of pure bravado."--"O: The Oprah Magazine.
About the Author
Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the novels "Let the Great World Spin, Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, "and" Songdogs, " as well as two critically acclaimed story collections. His fiction has been published in thirty-five languages. He has received many honors, including the National Book Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, and the Ireland Fund of Monaco Literary Award in Memory of Princess Grace. He has been named one of "Esquire"'s "Best & Brightest," and his short film "Everything in This Country Must" was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. A contributor to "The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, "and" The Paris Review, " he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing Program. He lives in New York City with his wife and their three children.