Colum McCann: An Infinity of Stories
Once every few years, a novel comes along that genuinely opens up new ways of seeing the world. Colum McCann’s new novel Apeirogon might well be such a book.
Two protagonists, Rami and Bassam – one a Palestinian, the other an Israeli – are each mourning the death of a daughter in separate acts of violence. Despite their intense grief, the bereaved fathers decide to meet and learn each other’s stories. This is no glib fantasy: as the novel makes clear, Rami and Bassam are real people who actually met and have got to know each other in the hope of finding a peaceful, personal resolution to the conflict.
McCann has described his work as ‘a hybrid novel with invention at its core, a work of storytelling which… weaves together elements of speculation, memory, fact and imagination.’ A mosaic of 1001 short, sparkling chapters, the novel is complex, moving and unforgettable. In today’s event, McCann discusses Apeirogon and its genesis with leading Palestinian writer and lawyer, Raja Shehadeh.
Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize