Divided by conflict, united by grief: Israeli Rami Elhanan and Palestinian Bassam Aramin were brought together by the loss of their daughters. Novelist Colum McCann told their story.
Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin live near one another – yet they exist worlds apart. Rami is Israeli. Bassam is Palestinian. Rami’s license plate is yellow. Bassam’s license plate is green. It takes Rami fifteen minutes to drive to the West Bank. The same journey for Bassam takes an hour and a half.
Both men have lost their daughters. Rami’s thirteen-year-old girl Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber while out shopping with her friends. Bassam’s ten-year-old daughter Abir was shot and killed by a member of the border police outside her school. There was a candy bracelet in her pocket she hadn’t had time to eat yet.
The men become the best of friends.
Novelist Colum McCann told their story in his epic and daring novel Apeirogon. One of 2020’s most celebrated books in any form or genre, Apeirogon has been described as ‘Absolutely staggering’ (Elizabeth Strout), ‘Spectacular’ (Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times), ‘A tour de force’ (i) and ‘A work of incredible magnitude’ (Assaf Gavron).
Now he, Bassam and Rami join us for an unforgettable livestream In Conversation event.
Praise for Colum McCann’s Apeirogon:
‘Apeirogon is ambitious formally and thematically, taking on the Israel Palestine conflict in a work that is both spectacularly inventive and grounded in brutal fact. It is about grief and forgiveness, about family and politics. If you can read it without sobbing, you’re a monster.’ Observer
‘A quite extraordinary novel. Colum McCann has found the form and voice to tell the most complex of stories, with an unexpected friendship between two men at its powerfully beating heart.’ Kamila Shamsie
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PRIX MÉDICIS AND THE PRIX FEMINA
WINNER OF THE PRIX DE MEILLEUR LIVRE ETRANGER
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A BBC BOOK OF 2020
CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER, GUARDIAN, i PAPER, FINANCIAL TIMES, NEW STATESMAN, SCOTSMAN, IRISH TIMES, BBC.COM, WATERSTONES.COM
The novel of a lifetime about two men and their daughters: divided by conflict, yet united in grief.