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Books | The Guardian ([info]theguardianbook) wrote,
@ 2020-02-24 07:00:00

Previous Entry  Add to memories!  Tell a Friend!  Next Entry
Apeirogon by Colum McCann review – a beautifully observed masterpiece

Based on the true-life friendship of two men whose daughters were killed in the Middle East, this novel buoys the heart

In his 1985 Jerusalem prize acceptance speech, Milan Kundera spoke about the novel’s ability to transcend binaries, using Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to illustrate his point. “The novel is the imaginary paradise of individuals,” he said. “It is the territory where no one possesses the truth, neither Anna nor Karenin, but where everyone has the right to be understood, both Anna and Karenin.” In an age of certainty, the novel is the home of doubt, of ambiguity, of multiple truths.

Colum McCann has written something he calls a “hybrid novel,” in which the form’s mutability, its stance on both sides and neither, is used to address the entrenched positions of the Middle East. The title is taken from the mathematical term for an object of an “observably infinite number of sides”, a shape that serves as a model for a new way of thinking about a conflict that is too often reduced to simple, opposed positions.

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