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Apeirogon: Book summary and reviews of Apeirogon by Colum McCann

Apeirogon

by Colum McCann

Apeirogon by Colum McCann X
Apeirogon by Colum McCann
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Feb 25, 2020
    480 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From the National Book Award–winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin comes an epic novel rooted in the real-life friendship between two men united by loss.

Colum McCann's most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon—named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides—is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate.

Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other's stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.

McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While undoubtedly destined to win awards, the format of Apeirogon is a challenge. Short chunks of text that are more like reflections or sketches are tied loosely together by a true event. It's a devastating, powerful read, but not an easy one, which is perhaps as it should be considering the subject matter." - BookBrowse

"Apeirogon's flashback-filled narrative unfolds in a single day as two men...battle the firestorms of ancient hatreds while trying to heal from their own tragedy... In the spirit of Picasso's Guernica, Apeirogon reminds us that such incandescent art evokes humility and light in the face of oppression and loss." - O, The Oprah Magazine

"[M]asterful...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's] writing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deeply nuanced and sensitive to the afflictions of both sides. As a whole, the book is a remarkable achievement. Imperfect but ultimately triumphant, McCann's latest novel might be his finest yet." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"McCann beautifully re-creates Rami and Bassam's real-life relationship while offering a sweeping range of counterbalancing narratives, ultimately conveying the profound essentiality of their friendship. An important book; McCann's considerable creative powers astound." - Library Journal (starred review)

"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, PEN/Malamud Award–winning author of Dinner at the Center of the Earth

"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

"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. Apeirogon 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

The information about Apeirogon shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Colum McCann Author Biography

Photo: Seamus Kearney

Colum McCann is the author of seven novels and three collections of stories. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts. His work has been published in over 40 languages. He is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their family.

Author Interview
Link to Colum McCann's Website

Other books by Colum McCann at BookBrowse
  • TransAtlantic jacket
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking jacket
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