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Fishing the Sloe-Black River :
In Songdogs, his first novel, Colum McCann, who divides his time between Ireland and America, explores the tensions created by movement between such different worlds. The thematic thread in this collection of short stories is much the same--the longing to escape from, and the pull toward, a fixed and central point. Sometimes the theme is explored through travel: a survivor of Hiroshima emigrates to western Ireland, but always feels the blast of that defining moment; a young Irishwoman moves frenetically through America in search of tranquillity. Sometimes the motion is within the mind, as it is for the paralyzed cyclist who discards his bike after realizing that "the only thing it could be ridden with was a perfect cadence of the imagination." [via]