A Novel

by Colum McCann

On Sale: 02/25/2020


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A Novel

by Colum McCann

On Sale: 02/25/2020


Booker Prize

Association of Jewish Libraries Jewish Fiction Award

International Dublin Literary Award

About the Book

From celebrated Irish writer Colum McCann comes a dazzling new novel set in Occupied Palestine and Israel. In an astonishing act of the imagination, McCann illuminates the political situation that has riven the region for more than seventy years in a completely new light. Using a fascinating blend of real events and people, he fictionalizes their stories. As the author says, “This is a hybrid novel with invention at its core, a work of storytelling which, like all storytelling, weaves together elements of speculation, memory, fact and imagination.”

McCann tells the story of Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian, and Rami Elhanan, an Israeli, and how they came together after the terrible loss of both of their daughters, one to suicide bombers and the other to Israeli police. Parents from both sides who have lost loved ones gather together in a Parents Circle to tell their stories, to heal, and to never forget their unimaginable losses.

Deploying a myriad of seemingly unrelated historical, cultural and biographical snapshots, this highly original and inventive novel reframes the never-ending Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The result is a breath-taking narrative based on events that actually happened.

McCann says, “Bassam and Rami have allowed me to shape and reshape their worlds. Despite these liberties, I hope to remain true to the actual realities of their shared experiences.”

Apeirogon is a completely mesmerizing novel. Driven by a compelling voice, Colum McCann has written a powerful and haunting narrative that is simply masterful in its universal implications.

Critical Praise

“A quite extraordinary novel. Colum McCann has found the form and voice to tell the most complex of stories, with an unexpected friendship between two men at its powerfully beating heart.” — Kamila Shamsie, award-winning author of Home Fire

“Colum McCann loves a high-wire act, and Apeirogon is a powerful, political tightrope walk of a novel. It’s the story of modern Israel and the story of modern Palestine. This beautiful, deeply felt book is first and foremost an extraordinary act of listening.” — Nathan Englander, author of the bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges

“A work of incredible magnitude. McCann finds the emotional accuracy, the sensitivity, and the beauty to tell the heartbreaking reality of life in Israel-Palestine, while allowing readers a glimmer of necessary hope. It is greater than a novel in more than one sense, and will both touch and enrich readers, wherever they live and whatever they know about the region.” — Assaf Gavron, author of The Hilltop

“Distinguished by empathy and intelligence, this transformative novel marks a new threshold of writing about the conflict. Colum McCann manages to take it all in without prejudice and with profound feeling for the suffering of all sides. Apeirogon will have a potent effect on all those who read it and, remarkably, could lead to great consequences for the future of this place.” — Raja Shehadeh, author of Palestinian Walks

“Every significant novel is an act of reckless originality. Colum McCann’s Apeirogon is nothing like any book you’ve ever read. Think of reading David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red, or George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo for the first time. Think of discovering an entirely unprecedented, and profoundly true, narrative form. Think about feeling that the very idea of the novel, of what it can be and what it’s capable of containing, has been expanded, forever.” — Michael Cunningham, New York Times bestselling author of The Snow Queen

This is a wondrous book. In an accretion of splendid detail, McCann writes with an amazing abundance of humanity as he describes the age-old story of inhumanity to man. The effect is absolutely staggering, it will bring you to your knees. Writing at the top of his game, McCann brings us a book that we sorely need. It left me hopeful; this is its gift. What a read -- ! — Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge

"Gorgeous prose; a sweeping look at the paradoxical relationship between history and private life; a penetrating examination of the deficiencies and marvels of the human spirit. . . .Apeirogon is visceral and devastating, yes; but it is also propulsive, muscular, swerving through details of life—real and imagined—with urgency, borne along on prose that is some of McCann’s finest, fully displaying his powers as a storyteller of just about supernatural ability. This book will break your heart and make you rethink how storytelling works." — Tea Obreht, author of Inland and Tiger’s Wife

"Apeirogon is a novel of profound empathy with the struggle of ordinary people in conflict. Without moral judgement McCann writes of ruthless oppression and it’s  opposition. . . . The mirror he holds up is a stark  truthful one and we will see ourselves reflected if we care to look. . . .This is a stunningly well written book. Courageous and necessary, truthful and ultimately hopeful, this may be Colum McCann’s masterpiece." — Gabriel Byrne, actor, director, author

"A soaring, ambitious triumph. . . a sprawling masterpiece. . . .McCann’s latest novel might be his finest yet." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Masterful. . . .  Balancing its dazzling intellectual breadth with moments of searing intimacy, this is a transformative vision of a historic conflict and a triumph of the novelist’s art." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"McCann performs his own epic balancing act between life and art, writing with stunning lyricism and fluent empathy as he traces the ripple effects of violence and grief, beauty, and the miraculous power of friendship and love, valor and truth." — Booklist (starred review)

“What a marvel of a book! Wise, complex and timely. A magnificent achievement”  — Graham Norton

“Now you have to read Apeirogon ... Delirious and thrilling, spectacular” — Sunday Times (London)

“Weaves documentary and imagination into its tough physical fabric ... Frequently beautiful … Often dazzles … At the core of this fractal fiction is a simple, radiant myth: "The hero makes a friend of his enemy"”  — The Economist

“Brilliant ... powerful and prismatic ... Apeirogon is an empathy engine, utterly collapsing the gulf between teller and listener ... It achieves its aim by merging acts of imagination and extrapolation with historical fact. But it's undisputably a novel, and, to my mind, an exceedingly important one. It does far more than make an argument for peace; it is, itself, an agent of change” — New York Times Book Review

“A profound account of pain and healing …The closest recent comparisons – in terms of ambition and intention, if not style – might be Claudia Rankine's genre defying works on race such as Citizen: An American Lyric or Maggie Nelson's exploration in The Red Parts and Jane: A Murder of the murder of her aunt, books that transcend the usual categories and set out to challenge and amaze”  — The Guardian

“A jagged, fractured, teeming novel … Apeirogon is a daring structural feat, a conspicuously elaborate and multivalent piece of novelistic engineering … The distilled and fractured form has a glistening poetry”  — Times Literary Supplement (London)

“An apeirogon is a shape with a countably infinite number of sides – and Colum McCann's transcendent book is full of hundreds of thought-provoking, emotional segments … McCann turns these haunting true stories into engrossing fiction, and he does so with poetic power”  — independent.co.uk

“In the spirit of Picasso's GuernicaApeirogon reminds us that such incandescent art evokes humility and light in the face of oppression and loss”  — O magazine

“A loving, thoughtful, grueling novel”  — Washington Post

“Powerful novel about the shared grief of a Palestinian and Israeli” — Sunday Times (London), Books of 2020

“The latest novel from the National Book Award winner blends fiction with history to examine how two men channel their grief into political power as they become advocates for peace in the Middle East” — Time magazine

“Keep reading, and you will find that everything is connected — and that is precisely the point.” — Toronto Star

"Eloquent and erudite, Apeirogon reinvents and reimagines some incidents and conversations, but it is at its core a true story. And because it is true, it is at times both unbelievable and unbearable to read. . . . It is near impossible to read those speeches without weeping, and it is equally impossible to read them without being inspired to hope.”  — Winnipeg Free Press

“A haunting, horrifying and heartbreaking hybrid novel…unconventional and brilliant narrative” — Winnipeg Free Press

"This may be McCann’s magnum opus." — Chatelaine

Praise for Colum McCann —

 “Colum McCann is drawn to lives lived, and his vivid, reactive and heartfelt fiction lives and breathes, sighs and weeps.”  — The Irish Times on Transatlantic

Thirteen Ways of Looking wonderfully showcases [McCann’s] fierce intellect and capacious, empathetic imagination.”  — The Globe and Mail

  “[TransAtlantic] is quite simply one of the best, most sustained pieces of fiction I’ve read in some time… [It] remains a novel of true resonance and power.”  — The Independent (UK)

 “McCann makes his prose dance across the surface of this ingeniously constructed novel [Let the Great World Spin]… He is a fearless writer.”  — The Telegraph (UK)


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781554689941
  • ISBN 10: 1554689945
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 02/25/2020
  • Pages: 480
  • List Price:33.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Literary

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