Announcing the Arrival of ‘Apeirogon’!
Today we’re celebrating the long-awaited release of Apeirogon, the new novel by esteemed author and N4 Co-Founder, Colum McCann!
Author Tea Obreht writes, “Apeirogon is visceral and devastating, yes; but it is also propulsive, muscular, swerving through details of life—real and imagined—with urgency, borne along on prose that is some of McCann’s finest, fully displaying his powers as a storyteller of just about supernatural ability. This book will break your heart and make you rethink how storytelling works.”
In many ways, Apeirogon is a Narrative 4 novel. It speaks to the heart of our organizational ethos—the power of personal story and the power of empathy to create real and lasting change in individual lives and ultimately the world.
In a recent newsletter Colum shared some thoughts that came up in an interview with The San Diego Union Tribune:
What does your title mean and why is it important to your novel?
An apeirogon is a shape with a countably infinite number of sides. It sounds crazy and impossible and beautiful all at once—and it is. You can be part of an infinite shape and land on any finite point within it. You can be at home and you can be everywhere. And you can, in fact, be lost too. I think it’s a word for the modern condition.
Who are Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan? Who were their daughters Abir and Smadar?
Bassam is Palestinian. He’s a father and a husband and a peace activist. He would say that he is a human being and he would regret the need to have to say that. Rami is Israeli. He is a father and a husband and a peace activist too. He would call Bassam his best friend. Abir and Smadar are their daughters who died in a conflict that the two men speak out against again and again and again.
Why did you want to tell these two families’ lives in a fictional way? What are two true facts that surprised you the most—and why?
Really it’s a story like any story. Some of it’s imagined but all of it is real. The world demands that we label things as fiction or nonfiction. Essentially every story is a fiction and it is a equally a piece of nonfiction too. I’m not trying to be a smart aleck here. This is what I truly believe. What is most important is to try to tell an honest story. Every moment of their lives surprised me. For example, Bassam is a Palestinian who studied the Holocaust while in prison. And Rami is an Israeli who triumphs in the humanity of his Palestinian neighbors.
Do you consider this a political novel? Why or why not?
Yes. It’s explicitly political. But it doesn’t tell you how or what to think. I hope that it allows you to think. It gives you a chance to make up your own mind.