The inaugural Croton Reads event was held on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the Croton Free Library with almost 150 people in attendance. TransAtlantic, written by Colum McCann, was the 2014 Croton Reads book selection. Colum is the author of six novels and two collections of stories. He is the recipient of many international honors, including the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin. In TransAtlantic, Colum delivers his most ambitious and beautiful novel yet, tying together a series of narratives that span 150 years and two continents in an outstanding act of literary bravura. Just as his National Book Award-winning novel Let The Great World Spin was, at its essence, about a crossing—the 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers—his sweeping, ambitious follow-up, TransAtlantic, is about a crossing as well, the steady stream of Irish, decade after decade, seeking a new life in America. “History, this novel reminds, is not just what gets written about,” wrote the Boston Globe reviewer. “It is the thin wire that threads between these two poles, the personal and the public, the mundane and the incredible. In TransAtlantic, Colum McCann walks across it as if falling weren’t an option.”
Colum spent a Sunday afternoon at the Croton Library reading selections from TransAtlantic, relaying stories and anecdotes about writing his books, as well as answering audience questions. He kept the audience smiling, laughing and completely enthralled.
The March 9 event was preceded by an insightful panel discussion of the historic themes woven into TransAtlantic. This was moderated by local author Maggie Barbieri, and included Fordham Professor John Harrington, CHHS teacher Brett Bowden and local book critic, Tina Jordan.