I found just one book in my mailbox this week, but its a good one!
Random House sent me a copy of Colum McCann’s newest novel, TransAtlantic (June 2013) as part of the Library Thing Early Review program. I read (and loved) McCann’s National Book Awarding winning Let The Great World Spin (read my review) and have been wanting to read another of his books. In TransAtlantic, McCann links three stories across time:
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 apparently disparate stories are connected by a series of remarkable women whose personal stories are caught up in the swells of history.
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.
TransAtlantic is being lauded as a “profound meditation on identity and history in a wide world that grows somehow smaller and more wondrous with each passing year.”
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 languages. He has been the recipient of many international honors, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac 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. 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. Learn more about McCann and his work by visiting the author’s website.
Did any wonderful books arrive at YOUR house this week?