An Irish writer of fiction. Colum McCann was born in Dublin and now lives in New York City. He knows both sides of the Atlantic. And he writes about it.
His 2013 novel “TransAtlantic” brings three stories together:
The visit of Frederick Douglass, an African-American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman, to Ireland. That was in 1845 and 1846. A few years later two men made the first non-stop transatlantic flight. In June 1919 the British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown went on that trip. 16 hours. Navigating by looking at the stars. Freezing in a non-isolated aeroplane.
The third story-line in Colum McCann’s novel is more recent. It’s the story of the Irish peace process – as negotiated by Senator George Mitchell. Investigating for the book, Colum McCann even met George Mitchell for a three-day wandering-trip through Maine.
Speaking to a German newspaper (Kölnische Rundschau) afterwards, Colum McCann described Senator George Mitchell as one of the few politicians he knows that are modest and free of prejudices.
“TransAtlantic” builds a narrative bridge of two centuries and all stories have one thing in common. The aspect of being brave and trying to unite people and continents.
“TransAtlantic” by Colum McCann
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 4 June 2013