Catalogue


TransAtlantic : a novel /
Colum McCann.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Random House, 2013.
description
304 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9781400069590
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Random House, 2013.
isbn
9781400069590
catalogue key
8754952
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2013-04-15:
In 1846, Lily Duggan, a Dublin servant girl, embarks for New York City on a quest for personal freedom. Her journey initiates a family saga connecting the lives of four women with Frederick Douglass's Irish journey in 1845, British aviators Alcock and Brown's 1919 flight from Newfoundland to Ireland, and U.S. Senator George Mitchell's work on the 1998 Belfast Agreement. The lives of Lily and her descendants resonate with shared experiences and an elusive yearning for fulfillment that often expresses itself as a plea for justice. At other times, this desire occupies a vacant existence caused by loss. The story closes with Hannah Carson, Lily's great-granddaughter, nearly forced from the family cottage on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, surprised by the tenderness of strangers wishing to create with her something new from her longing for the past. VERDICT McCann's sixth novel (after Let the Great World Spin) is majestic and assures his status as one of the great prose stylists of contemporary fiction as he effortlessly weaves history and fiction into a tapestry depicting all of life's wonders, both ephemeral and foursquare.-John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2013-03-11:
In 1919, two British veterans pilot a Vickers Vimy from Newfoundland to Ireland, becoming the first men to fly across the Atlantic, taking "the war out of the plane." In 1845, escaped American slave Frederick Douglass comes to Ireland at the start of the famine on a speaking tour, staying with Irish Quakers and inspiring their maid to seek her future in America. In 1998, decades into the Troubles, American Senator George Mitchell brokers the Good Friday Peace Accords. Darting in, past, and through these stories are generations of women, including the maid's descendants, Irish, American, Canadian, with sons lost to the civil wars of both continents. This is what interests McCann: lives made amid and despite violence; the hidden braids of places, times, and people; the way the old days "arrive back in the oddest ways, suddenly taut, breaking the surface." A beautiful writer, if overly partial to three-word phrases ("Kites of language. Clouds of logic") that can start to call attention to themselves, McCann won the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin, which also linked disparate stories. This time though, while each story is interesting, the threads between them-especially in the last section, which features the maid's great-granddaughter-aren't pulled taut enough by shared meaning. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, the Wylie Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
Review Quotes
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
"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, author of Room "A dazzlingly talented author's latest high-wire act . . . National Book Award winner Colum McCann weaves an intricate tapestry that illuminates the anguish of Irish history and the deeper agonies of war. TransAtlantic reads as a series of interconnected novellas, shifting between decades, among an unlikely cast of richly drawn characters. . . . Reminiscent of the finest work of Michael Ondaatje and Michael Cunningham, TransAtlantic is Colum McCann's most penetrating novel yet." -- O: The Oprah Magazine "What distinguishes TransAtlantic from McCann's earlier work isn't the stunning language or the psychological acuity or the humor and imagination on display--all of that has been there before. It's the sheer ambition, the audacity to imagine within the same novel the experience of Frederick Douglass . . . then the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight . . . then to leap into the near-present and embody the former senator George Mitchell . . . and finally to unite these stories, to give them even larger purpose than the historical significance they already possess, by knitting through and around them the stories of four generations of women." --Joel Lovell, The New York Times Magazine "Ingenious . . . The intricate connections he has crafted between the stories of his women and our men will, by the end, have you trying to figure out, in pencil, what he seems to have written in air, in water, and--given that his subject is the confluence of Irish and American history--in blood." --Tom Junod, Esquire " Let The Great World Spin is one of the twenty-first century's most celebrated novels thus far--with a National Book Award and an IMPAC Dublin Literary Award among its lauds. Not an easy act to follow. But McCann is an acrobat. . . . TransAtlantic is entrancing. . . . Trusting and economic, McCann folds his epic meticulously into this relatively slim volume like an accordion; each pleat holds music--elation and sorrow." --Tucker Shaw, The Denver Post
"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, author of Room "A dazzlingly talented author's latest high-wire act . . . National Book Award winner Colum McCann weaves an intricate tapestry that illuminates the anguish of Irish history and the deeper agonies of war. TransAtlantic reads as a series of interconnected novellas, shifting between decades, among an unlikely cast of richly drawn characters. . . . Reminiscent of the finest work of Michael Ondaatje and Michael Cunningham, TransAtlantic is Colum McCann's most penetrating novel yet." - O: The Oprah Magazine "What distinguishes TransAtlantic from McCann's earlier work isn't the stunning language or the psychological acuity or the humor and imagination on display-all of that has been there before. It's the sheer ambition, the audacity to imagine within the same novel the experience of Frederick Douglass . . . then the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight . . . then to leap into the near-present and embody the former senator George Mitchell . . . and finally to unite these stories, to give them even larger purpose than the historical significance they already possess, by knitting through and around them the stories of four generations of women." -Joel Lovell, The New York Times Magazine "Ingenious . . . The intricate connections he has crafted between the stories of his women and our men will, by the end, have you trying to figure out, in pencil, what he seems to have written in air, in water, and-given that his subject is the confluence of Irish and American history-in blood." -Tom Junod, Esquire " Let The Great World Spin is one of the twenty-first century's most celebrated novels thus far-with a National Book Award and an IMPAC Dublin Literary Award among its lauds. Not an easy act to follow. But McCann is an acrobat. . . . TransAtlantic is entrancing. . . . Trusting and economic, McCann folds his epic meticulously into this relatively slim volume like an accordion; each pleat holds music-elation and sorrow." -Tucker Shaw, The Denver Post From the Hardcover edition.
Advance praise for TransAtlantic "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."-Emma Donoghue "A masterful and profoundly moving novel that employs exquisite language to explore the limits of language and the tricks of memory . . . epic in ambition . . . audacious in format."- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A beautiful writer . . . This is what interests McCann: lives made amid and despite violence; the hidden braids of places, times, and peop≤ the way the old days 'arrive back in the oddest ways.' " -Publishers Weekly 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 "Stunning . . . [an] elegiac glimpse of hope."- USA Today "There's so much passion and humor and pure life force on every page that you'll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed."-Dave Eggers From the Hardcover edition.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, March 2013
Library Journal, April 2013
Booklist, May 2013
Globe & Mail, May 2013
Kirkus Reviews, June 2013
New York Times Book Review, June 2013
New York Times Full Text Review, June 2013
The Australian, June 2013
Washington Post, June 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
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 Irelands 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. Advance praise for "TransAtlantic" "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."--Emma Donoghue "A masterful and profoundly moving novel that employs exquisite language to explore the limits of language and the tricks of memory . . . epic in ambition . . . audacious in format."--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) "A beautiful writer . . . This is what interests McCann: lives made amid and despite violence; the hidden braids of places, times, and people; the way the old days arrive back in the oddest ways. ""--Publishers Weekly"" "Praise for Colum McCanns "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" "Stunning . . . an] elegiac glimpse of hope."--"USA Today"" " "Theres so much passion and humor and pure life force on every page that youll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed."--Dave Eggers "From the Hardcover edition."
Main Description
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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 TransAtlantic "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, author of Room "A dazzlingly talented author's latest high-wire act . . . National Book Award winner Colum McCann weaves an intricate tapestry that illuminates the anguish of Irish history and the deeper agonies of war. TransAtlantic reads as a series of interconnected novellas, shifting between decades, among an unlikely cast of richly drawn characters. . . . Reminiscent of the finest work of Michael Ondaatje and Michael Cunningham, TransAtlantic is Colum McCann's most penetrating novel yet." -- O: The Oprah Magazine "Ingenious . . . The intricate connections he has crafted between the stories of his women and our men will, by the end, have you trying to figure out, in pencil, what he seems to have written in air, in water, and--given that his subject is the confluence of Irish and American history--in blood." --Tom Junod, Esquire
Main Description
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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.

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