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TransAtlantic

A Novel

McCann, Colum, 1965-

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
TransAtlantic
Print
Random House, Inc.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

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

“A dazzlingly talented author’s latest high-wire act . . . Reminiscent of the finest work of Michael Ondaatje and Michael Cunningham, TransAtlantic is Colum McCann’s most penetrating novel yet.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“One of the greatest pleasures of TransAtlantic is how provisional it makes history feel, how intimate, and intensely real. . . . Here is the uncanny thing McCann finds again and again about the miraculous: that it is inseparable from the everyday.”The Boston Globe

“Ingenious . . . The intricate connections [McCann] has crafted between the stories of his women and our men [seem] written in air, in water, and—given that his subject is the confluence of Irish and American history—in blood.”Esquire

“Another sweeping, beautifully constructed tapestry of life . . . Reading McCann is a rare joy.”The Seattle Times

“Entrancing . . . McCann folds his epic meticulously into this relatively slim volume like an accordion; each pleat holds music—elation and sorrow.”The Denver Post

Baker & Taylor
A tale spanning 150 years and two continents reimagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass, Senator George Mitchell and World War I airmen John Alcock and Teddy Brown through the experiences of four generations of women from a matriarchal clan. By the National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin.

Book News
A tale spanning 150 years and two continents reimagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass, Senator George Mitchell and World War I airmen John Alcock and Teddy Brown through the experiences of four generations of women from a matriarchal clan. By the National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin.

Baker
& Taylor

A tale spanning one hundred fifty years and two continents reimagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass, Senator George Mitchell, and World War I airmen John Alcock and Teddy Brown through the experiences of four generations of women.

Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2013]
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9781400069590
1400069599
Branch Call Number: FIC M
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 25 cm

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Sep 07, 2014
  • stewstealth rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well written prose and imagery make this book worth reading. The author weaves a compelling story through generations on both sides of the Atlantic.. If you are looking for action, look elsewhere. However this novel is worth the time investment.

Aug 27, 2014
  • lorraine_on_rodney rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

In the early chapters, I wasn't sure where the author was heading, but he did bring it all together very nicely and intelligently. He handled his characters with warmth and caring, while acknowledging their flaws.

Not as ambitious or flamboyant as Let the Great World Spin, one of my favorite novels, but still very worth reading.

Jun 28, 2014
  • johncruse rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Pointless rambling.

Jun 17, 2014
  • bixby rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Colum McCann's imagery is beautiful... describing the wind through a room as "interested in the curtains" .... lovely writing!

Jan 31, 2014
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Excellent. Different stories, all with Ireland in the background, foreground and in-between ground, that intertwine to some degree, but which are painted with such immediacy you can almost smell the peat fires burning.

Oct 14, 2013
  • martins_mom rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I loved this book, both the interwoven stories and the structure. Fans of Kate Atkinson should enjoy it too.

Sep 16, 2013
  • GummiGirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Beautifully written, but it seems strangely lacking in action, despite the often dramatic subject matter. The author tends to downplay big events in favor of the quieter moods and moments that surround them.

Aug 27, 2013
  • Don27 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I loved the first half of this book but feel it kind of fizzled out. It was like two (or more) different books. I thought the historical stories of Frederick Douglass, the two fliers and George Mitchell were absolutely wonderful, but thought the switch to the fully fictional family made the book feel disjointed to me.

However, Mr. McCann is a wonderful writer and his sentences are well-constructed and a pleasure to read. I want to read more of his books.

Jul 27, 2013
  • pattyloucor67 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Another outstanding book by Colum McCann. I love the way he takes seemingly unrelated stories and weaves a thread of commonality into them. Don't be out off by the jumps I time and place. This book was well worth the wait and should win another National Book Award.

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Jun 17, 2014
  • bixby rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

From 1845 to 2012, the connections among a wide-ranging group of families - especially the women, whose lives seem to cross the years and touch each other.

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Jun 17, 2014
  • bixby rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"The ceilings were low everywhere but the library, as if to force a man to bend down everywhere except near books."
(P. 77, TransAtlantic by Colum McCann)

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