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Extended Audio Sample TransAtlantic: A Novel, by Colum McCann Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Colum McCann Narrator: Geraldine Hughes Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “This novel is beautifully hypnotic in its movements, from the grand (between two continents, across three centuries) to the most subtle.”

    Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author

  • “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.”


  • “McCann takes on the lives of men and women who have chosen to leap across the ocean from Ireland to the New World or back again. It’s a journey that the Dublin-born McCann…knows well, and he uses that knowledge and sympathy to create real voyages of the imagination.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “McCann is back with another elaborately constructed book…a series of intensely personal moments in the lives of people celebrated, forgotten, or unknown. Fiction and nonfiction are blended together, beginning with famous men and then listening closely as their actions reverberate down a line of related women who lived in various degrees of anonymity.”

    Washington Post

  • 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.”

    Denver Post

  • “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

  • “A masterful and profoundly moving novel that employs exquisite language to explore the limits of language and the tricks of memory…A beautifully written novel, an experience to savor.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A Booklist Top 10 in June 2013
  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month in June 2013
  • Selected for the June 2013 Indie Next List
  • Longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2014
  • One of the Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013
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