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Apeirogon /
A Novel

Autor: Colum McCann

2020 - Penguin Random House; Random House


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"Brilliant . . . powerful and prismatic . . . Apeirogon is an empathy engine, utterly collapsing the gulf between teller and listener. . . . It achieves its aim by merging acts of imagination and extrapolation with historical fact. But it's undisputably a novel, and, to my mind, an exceedingly important one. It does far more than make an argument for peace; it is, itself, an agent of change."-The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

"This is a wondrous book. In an accretion of splendid detail, McCann writes with an amazing abundance of humanity as he describes the age-old story of inhumanity to man. The effect is absolutely staggering-it will bring you to your knees. Writing at the top of his game, McCann brings us a book that we sorely need. It left me hopeful; this is its gift. What a read!"-Elizabeth Strout

"Virtuosic . . . Colum McCann's grand and exhilarating novel Apeirogon is . . . a profound prayer for peace. . . . Apeirogon reminds us that such incandescent art evokes humility and light in the face of oppression and loss."-O: The Oprah Magazine

"McCann performs his own epic balancing act between life and art, writing with stunning lyricism and fluent empathy as he traces the ripple effects of violence and grief, beauty, and the miraculous power of friendship and love, valor and truth."-Booklist (starred review)

"Distinguished by empathy and intelligence, this transformative novel marks a new threshold of writing about the conflict. 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."-Assaf Gavron, author of The Hilltop

"A soaring, ambitious triumph . . . deeply nuanced and sensitive . . . a remarkable achievement . . . McCann's latest novel might be his finest yet."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)



The hills of Jerusalem are a bath of fog. Rami moves by memory through a straight stretch, and calculates the camber of an upcoming turn.

Sixty-seven years old, he bends low on the motorbike, his jacket padded, his helmet clipped tight. It is a Japanese bike, 750 cc. An agile machine for a man his age.

Rami pushes the bike hard, even in bad weather.

He takes a sharp right at the gardens where the fog lifts to reveal dark. Corpus separatum. He downshifts and whips past a military tower. The sodium lights appear fuzzy in the morning. A small flock of birds momentarily darkens the orange.

At the bottom of the hill the road dips into another curve, obscured in fog. He taps down to second, lets out the clutch, catches the corner smoothly and moves back up to third. Road Number One stands above the ruins of Qalunya: all history piled here.

He throttles at the end of the ramp, takes the inner lane, passing signs for The Old City, for Giv'at Ram. The highway is a scattershot of morning headlights.

He leans left and salmons his way out into the faster lane, toward the tunnels, the Separation Barrier, the town of Beit Jala. Two answers for one swerve: Gilo on one side, Bethlehem on the other.

Geography here is everything.




Five hundred million birds arc the sky over the hills of Beit Jala every year. They move by ancient ancestry: hoopoes, thrushes, flycatchers, warblers, cuckoos, starlings, shrikes, ruffs, northern wheatears, plovers, sunbirds, swifts, sparrows, nightjars, owls, gulls, hawks, eagles, kites, cranes, buzzards, sandpipers, pelicans, flamingos, storks, pied bushchats, griffon vultures, European rollers, Arabian babblers, bee-eaters, turtledoves, whitethroats, yellow wagtails, blackcaps, red-throated pipits, little bitterns.

It is the world's second busiest migratory superhighway: at least four hundred different species of birds torrent through, riding different levels in the sky. Long vees of honking intent. Sole travelers skimming low over the grass.

Every year a new landscape appears underneath: Israeli settlements, Palestinian apartment blocks, rooftop gardens, barracks, barriers, bypass roads.

Some of the birds migrate at night to avoid predators, flying in their sidereal patterns, elliptic with speed, devouring their own muscles and intestines in flight. Others travel during the day to take advantage of the thermals rising from below, the warm wind lifting their wings so they can coast.

At times whole flocks block out the sun and daub shadows across Beit Jala: the fields, the steep terraces, the olive groves on the outskirts of town.

Lie down in the vineyard in the Cremisan monastery at any time of day and you can see the birds overhead, travelling in their talkative lanes.

They land on trees, telegraph poles, electricity cables, water towers, even the rim of the Wall, where they are a sometime target for the young stone throwers.


The ancient sling was made of a cradle of cowskin, the size of an eye-patch, pierced with small holes and held together with leather thongs. The slings were designed by shepherds to help scare away predatory animals from their roving flocks.

The pouch was held in the shepherd's left hand, the cords in his right. Considerable practice was needed to operate it with accuracy. After placing a stone in the pad, the slingman pulled the thongs taut. He swung it wide above his head several times until the moment of natural release. The pouch opened and the stone flew. Some shepherds could hit a target the size of a jackal's eye from two hundred paces.

The sling soon made its way into the art of warfare: its capacity to fire up a steep slope and battlement

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "A quite extraordinary novel. Colum McCann has found the form and voice to tell the most complex of stories, with an unexpected friendship between two men at its powerfully beating heart."-Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire

From the National Book Award-winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin comes an epic novel rooted in the unlikely real-life friendship between two fathers.

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

But their lives, however circumscribed, are upended one after the other: first, Rami's thirteen-year-old daughter, Smadar, becomes the victim of suicide bombers; a decade later, Bassam's ten-year-old daughter, Abir, is killed by a rubber bullet. Rami and Bassam had been raised to hate one another. And yet, when they learn of each other's stories, they recognize the loss that connects them. Together they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace-and with their one small act, start to permeate what has for generations seemed an impermeable conflict.

This extraordinary novel is the fruit of a seed planted when the novelist Colum McCann met the real Bassam and Rami on a trip with the non-profit organization Narrative 4. McCann was moved by their willingness to share their stories with the world, by their hope that if they could see themselves in one another, perhaps others could too.

With their blessing, and unprecedented access to their families, lives, and personal recollections, McCann began to craft Apeirogon, which uses their real-life stories to begin another-one that crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. The result is an ambitious novel, crafted out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material, with these fathers' moving story at its heart.


Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the novels TransAtlantic, Let the Great World Spin, Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as three critically acclaimed story collections and the nonfiction book Letters to a Young Writer. His fiction has been published in over forty languages. He has received many international honors, including the National Book Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Pushcart Prize, and an Oscar nomination for his short film Everything in This Country Must. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Irish association of artists Aosdána, and he has also received a Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres award from the French government. In addition, he has won awards in Italy, Germany, and China. A contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review, he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing program. He lives with his family in New York City, where he is the cofounder of the global nonprofit story exchange organization Narrative 4.


Titel: Apeirogon
Untertitel:A Novel
Autor:Colum McCann
Verlag: Penguin Random House; Random House
480 Seiten
234 mm x 155 mm
ISBN-13: 978-0-593-13451-1


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