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Colum McCann - Thirteen Ways of Looking

Signed First Edition

Colum McCann’s collection of a novella and three short stories captures an extraordinary cast of characters, each at a turning point. In the title novella, a prominent retired judge in his eighties casts his net into a sea of memories over the course of a morning, as his thoughts are interrupted by updates from a police investigation into his murder that will take place later that afternoon. In “Sh’khol,” a woman gives her son, who is deaf and troubled, a wet suit so he can swim in the cold waters off the Irish coast where they live—until he disappears one day along with a wet suit. “Treaty” brings us into the life of a nun, haunted by a past trauma, who later comes face-to-face with a man she believes may be the one who attacked her. And “What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?” shows a writer trying to frame the story of a young Marine calling home from a remote Afghan outpost at midnight on New Year’s Eve. While their circumstances vary, the characters that inhabit the pages of this collection are united in their search for meaning as their humanity is tested. This collection is a tribute to that search, and ultimately a celebration of the power of the stories we tell, both to ourselves and to others.

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