05/30/2013 08:42 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'TransAtlantic' By Colum McCann : NPR

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Like his 2009 National Book Award-winning novel, Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann's TransAtlantic is a braided novel that weaves together the stories of various characters -- some historical, others invented. The storylines illustrate the deep and complex connections tying Ireland and the U.S. over a span of some 150 years, beginning with Frederick Douglass, who visits Ireland in 1845 to drum up abolitionist support, and ending with Sen. George Mitchell, who negotiates the Good Friday peace accord for President Bill Clinton