Apeirogon – Colum McCann

Apeirogon – Colum McCann

I decided I needed to know more about Israel and Palestine and this book was on a lot of lists of recommendations. I found a copy at the library.

Here’s the blurb …

Colum McCann’s most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon–named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides–is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.

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

Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.

McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.

This novel had an interesting structure. Lots of little, seemingly unrelated facts, mixed in with the stories of the two men (Bassam and Rami). It’s beautifully written – I find it comprehensible that people can go on when their child has died, but both of these men are determined to create a better world (I hope their OK given the current situation).

I feel I know a little bit more about the situation, so I do recommend reading this novel.

A review

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