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The life of Zoli Novotna begins on the leafy backroads of Slovakia, when she and her grandfather come upon a quiet lake where their family has been drowned by Fascist guards. Zoli and her grandfather flee to join up with another clan of travelling harpists. So begins an epic tale of song, intimacy and betrayal.

Based loosely on the true story of the Gypsy poet Papusza, and set against the backdrop of the Second World War, Zoli is a love story, a tale of loss, and a parable of modern-day Europe.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 236g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1526617226
  • 9781526617224

Review Text

Beautiful, thoughtful . sharp and scintillatingly sensual Independent
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Review quote

Beautiful, thoughtful ... sharp and scintillatingly sensual * Independent * Zoli is such a wonderful novel. McCann is as fine, and persuasive a storyteller as any other working in English today * Scotsman * If a writer's higher calling is to imagine what it is to be "other", then Colum McCann is a giant amongst us - fearless, huge-hearted, a poet with every living breath * Peter Carey * McCann has offered us an unforgettable picture of this world * Scotland on Sunday * A wonderful novel ... McCann is as fine, and persuasive, a storyteller as any other working in English today * Scotsman * With this haunting, poetic work McCann has surely earned his place among the country's greats * Metro * Zoli is an assiduously crafted and beautifully haunting story of Europe from one of Ireland's very best novelists. Every book from Colum McCann extends his range and excavates new territories. He is an audacious and wonderfully skilled writer -- Joseph O'Connor There is great warmth in the novel, sparked by the author's genuine sense of commitment to this woman in both her actual and fictional forms. The story of Zoli deserves to be told, and with his gift for unpicking the seams of history, McCann brings to the fore its sad keynotes of manipulation and betrayal * Irish Times *
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About Colum McCann

Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. His most recent novel Apeirogon was longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize. TransAtlantic was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013, and Let the Great World Spin won the National Book Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a New York Times bestseller. His work has been published in forty languages and has received many international honours, including a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, election to the Irish arts academy and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China and an Oscar nomination. He is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. He was born in Dublin and lives in New York. colummccann.com
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