Updated: Dec 30, 2020
An unique presentation of a heartbreaking story, with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a backdrop, that will open your eyes and touch your heart.
These two men are the most unlikely of friends. Rami Elhanan is Israeli, a Jew and the father of a thirteen-year-old daughter. Bassam Aramin is Palestinian, a Muslin, an Arab and the father of a ten-year-old daughter. These two fathers lives intersect when they became members of the Parents Circle, the kind of club no parent wants to be a member of. In 1997, Rami’s daughter, Smadar, becomes the victim of three Palestinian suicide bombers in a Jerusalem shopping area. A decade later, in 2007. Bassam’s daughter, Abir is killed by a rubber bullet by a Israeli border guard, just after purchasing a candy bracelet at a grocery store down the street from her Palestinian school.
Rami and Bassam had been raised to hate one another. And yet, when they heard each other’s stories, they recognized that their tremendous loss connects them. They now work together using their grief and their stories as a path for seeking international peace.
“When you divide death by life you find a circle.”
The term “apeirogon” refers to a shape with a countable but infinite number of sides, which is a perfect title for this inventive and thought-provoking book. The story is nonlinear and is probably unlike anything you’ve ever read before, but well worth the read. Apeirogon is creatively divided into 1,001 informative fragments numbered 1 to 500 and then descending from 500 back to 1.
The fragments are seemingly random and include not just the fictional account of Rami and Bassam’s story, but also references to birds, literature, philosophy, music and art. But it’s all connected, like an apeirogon. It’s an enlightening and thought-provoking read, one you don’t want to miss. The writing will open your eyes and touch your heart.
Author Colum McCann met the two men in 2015 when he visited Israel and Palestine. Their talk took his breath away. This book, will take your breath away as well. McCann has woven an intriguing story full of facts, memories, speculation and imagination. The movie rights for this book have already been purchased by Steven Spielberg.
McCann is an Irish writer of literary fiction. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and now lives in New York. He is distinguished professor of creative writing at Hunter College and has written six novels including TransAtlantic and the National Book Award winning Let the Great World Spin.
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I have begun to change myself.”
Publisher Random House
Published February 25, 2020