This Side of Brightness (McCann)

I love Colum McCann’s work, and this novel just deepened my appreciation. He’s a magician with words and story. From beginning to end, I was in the world he created, a world very far from my own time, place and experience. And, I think it’s worth noting, that he centers a story around Nathan Walker, a black man. This book was published in 1998. I’d like to think he’d be as bold now. He’s not showing off here, I don’t think, just reminding us with his main character and his fellow sandhogs that once upon a time, there were a lot of different groups that were not considered white. Aside from a moment that seemed like one coincidence too many, the plot and characters are compelling and the ending is even hopeful.

I look forward to seeing him in person in April.

Colum McCann at John Carroll


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