Hailed for its "shining prose" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and "gripping realism" (Newsday), This Side of Brightness is a powerful bl of imagination and history set in underground Manhattan. At the turn of the century, New York's sandhogs burrowed beneath the East River, digging the tunnels that would link Brooklyn to Manhattan; many decades later, those same tunnels offer refuge to the desperate and homeless. Spanning seventy years, Colum McCann's acclaimed novel tells the story of three generations bound to the tunnels by ill-fated loves, uninted crimes, and social taboos. Haunting and lyrical, This Side of Brightness delivers a tale of family, race, and redemption as bold and fabulous as New York City itself.
Called "New York's most visible up-and-coming Irish writer" by the New York Times, McCann skillfully evokes early 20th-century New York, where Irish mixed with African Americans and Italians to dig the tunnel under the East River.