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TransAtlantic : a novel
Colum McCann
Adult Fiction MCCANN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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.

From Library Journal:

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.

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main characters Jack Alcock
Set course from Newfoundland to Ireland in an attempt to be the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Arthur Brown
Set course from Newfoundland to Ireland in an attempt to be the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Frederick Douglass
African American
Escaped slavery; leader of the abolotionist movement; on an international lecture tour in support of his autiobiography.

George Mitchell
Travels to Belfast where it has fallen to him to mediate Northern Ireland's talks to peace.

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