In his first collection of short fiction in more than a decade, Colum McCann charts the territory of chance, and the profound and intimate consequences of even our smallest moments. In the exuberant title novella, a retired judge reflects on his life's work, unaware as he goes about his daily routines that this particular morning will be his last. In "Sh'khol", a mother spending Christmas alone with her son confronts the unthinkable when he disappears while swimming off the coast near their home in Ireland. In "Treaty", an elderly nun catches a snippet of a news report in which it is revealed that the man who once kidnapped and brutalized her is alive, masquerading as an agent of peace. And in "What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?" a writer constructs a story about a Marine in Afghanistan calling home on New Year's Eve. Deeply personal, subtly subversive, at times harrowing, and indeed funny, and yet also full of comfort, Thirteen Ways of Looking: Fiction is a striking achievement. With unsurpassed empathy for his characters and their inner lives, McCann forges from their stories a profound tribute to our search for meaning and grace. The collection is a rumination on the power of storytelling in a world where language and memory can sometimes falter, but in the end do not fail us.
Colum McCann was born in Ireland in 1965. He is the author of six novels and two collections of stories including Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic. He has been the recipient of many international honours, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has been published in over 35 languages. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their three children. He teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College.
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