‘TransAtlantic’ on Impac prize short list

transatlanticcoverColum McCann, who won the €100,000 Impac Dublin Literary Award in 2011 for Let the Great World Spin, is on the short list – announced yesterday – for the same prize this year for TransAtlantic. Through the lives of a fictional family, McCann links three episodes from history: the first non-stop transatlantic flight, in 1919; the visit of a freed American slave to Ireland; and Senator George Mitchell’s peace-broking in Belfast in the 1990s. The recreation of the crossing by Alcock and Brown in their Vickers Vimy from Newfoundland to Connemara is a sustained feat of imagination, in which McCann inhabits not just the cockpit but the minds of the aviators.

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