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May 2014 Contemporary Book Discussion

  • May 21, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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Date: May 21, 2014

Meeting Location: Emeryville

Title: TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

Genre: Fiction – Historical

Year of Publication: 2013

Approximate Page Count: 320 pages

Summary: McCann’s stunning sixth novel is a brilliant tribute to his loamy, lyrical and complicated Irish homeland, and an ode to the ties that, across time and space, bind Ireland and America. The book begins with three transatlantic crossings, each a novella within a novel: Frederick Douglas’s 1845 visit to Ireland, the 1919 flight of British aviators Alcock and Brown, and former US senator George Mitchell’s 1998 attempt to mediate peace in Northern Ireland. McCann then loops back to 1863 to launch the saga of the women we briefly meet throughout Book One, beginning with Irish housemaid Lily Duggan, whose bold escape from her troubled homeland cracks open the world for her daughter and granddaughter. The finale is a melancholy set piece that ties it all together. McCann reminds us that life is hard, and it is a wonder, and there is hope.

Suggested by: Marty



Jeri will present the author's biography and share facts of interest about the book. Ken will lead the discussion with questions.


LAST UPDATE: May 20, 2014

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  • Anthony

    As always, a fun meeting. :-)

    May 21, 2014

  • Evelyn

    Great conversation about history, oral traditions, family history. I always walk away impressed with the wealth of knowledge and understanding literature in this group.

    May 21, 2014

  • jeri m.

    Fun discussion as always

    May 21, 2014

  • Pam N.

    Sorry I can't attend. I enjoyed the book, which seemed to dovetail some with the same timeframe as Alice Munro's...I have a class on the Transcendentalists (currently on Emerson) every Wednesday until mid-June. Have fun!

    May 21, 2014

  • Regina Voorhies D.

    Charlie, keep taking the bird photos. They're great. Sean told me I snored. Sorry about that. Loved what I saw of the movie. I would watch it again.

    May 4, 2014

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