In his previous novel, 2009’s LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN, Colum McCann used Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between New York’s Twin Towers in 1974 as entry into a post-9/11 story of intersecting lives and the struggle to make sense of a violently altered world. The brilliance of that book lay in McCann’s ability to mix real and imagined events and to shift seamlessly among the perspectives of a dozen protagonists. He does the same in his new work, TRANSATLANTIC, an audacious follow-up that spans 170 years and two continents.
The novel begins in Newfoundland in 1919. Lord Northcliffe, the editor of London’s