Book cover for 'The Goat Bridge'
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The Goat Bridge

A Novel
T. M. McNally
An American photographer in the war-torn Balkans struggles to rebuild his shattered life after the kidnapping of his son

Description

American photographer Stephen Brings has fled a troubled relationship in Chicago and the painful memory of a kidnapped and still-missing son, only to stumble into the Balkans at the outbreak of the civil wars.

As he drifts through the countryside, Stephen struggles to resolve the trauma and sorrow of losing his son, and soon the landscape begins to mirror his own inner battles. After a return trip to America fails to heal the rift between himself and the mother of his child, Stephen returns to Sarajevo, where he begins a project to document images of the Bosnian people—not war images, but personal portraits of an embattled nation. There he finds himself falling in love with a German journalist, who helps to heal his ailing body and to overcome his tragic loss.

The Goat Bridge is an unforgettable tale of memory and oblivion, a probing story of loss and redemption, of letting go and holding on, and of the universal human search for meaning. In the end, it is also a love story about finding the wisdom and courage to surrender to one's own and another's heart.

"Brilliant. . . . The intricately layered narrative, moving back and forth in time and space, builds to a conclusion both bloody and subtle. . . ."
Chicago Tribune

"Touched with some of the aphoristic delicacy of Milan Kundera, and searching in the mode of Graham Greene, McNally's tale of redemption nonetheless has a sinewy elegance entirely its own."
Publishers Weekly

"[A] lacerating and exquisite novel of loss and mourning. . . ."
Booklist: A 2005 Editors' Choice

Cover image: James Lauritz/Getty images.

T. M. McNally is the author of the story collections Quick, which won the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award, and Low Flying Aircraft, which received the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. His two previous novels are Until Your Heart Stops and Almost Home. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University.

Praise / Awards

  • "With a sensitive yet razor-sharp vision, T. M. McNally probes the deepest and most difficult aspects of life in that great century of warring, the Twentieth. The Goat Bridge is a novel of love, loss, death, conflicts of the heart as well as between men who would kill in the name of ideology. This is a poignant, masterful work."
    —Bradford Morrow, author of Ariel's Crossing

  • "T.M. McNally's new novel, The Goat Bridge, is at once an imaginative engagement with the war in Yugoslavia, and a moving story of human frailty, bewilderment, and grief. He understands in his bones the dimensions of the Balkan tragedy—the difficult and shifting facts of internecine conflict—as well as the contours of ordinary love and loss. 'Evil,' he writes, 'it's not a person. It is what a person does. As is Good.' And he explores this idea with passion and verve. The Goat Bridge is a magnificent novel."
    —Christopher Merrill, author of Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars

  • "[A] lacerating and exquisite novel of loss and mourning. . . ."
    Booklist: A 2005 Editors' Choice

  • ". . . in his most far-reaching and scorchingly beautiful novel, [McNally] extends his acute insights into the workings of the mind to the traumas of a besieged city. . . . In Stephen, an artist with a conscience and a man who has lost what is most precious, McNally has created an unflinching witness to humankind's capacity for both evil and transcendent love. And every penetrating thought, harrowing predicament, vivid feeling, and powerfully evoked setting exerts a profound fascination in this lacerating and exquisite novel of crime and war, suffering and sacrifice, revelation and redemption."
    Booklist (starred review)

  • "Brilliant. . . . The intricately layered narrative, moving back and forth in time and space, builds to a conclusion both bloody and subtle . . ."
    Chicago Tribune

  • "The Goat Bridge finds [McNally] at new heights. It's fascinating, heartbreaking, illuminating, poetic, wrenching, and unflinching."
    Playback

  • "Touched with some of the aphoristic delicacy of Milan Kundera, and searching in the mode of Graham Greene, McNally's tale of redemption nonetheless has a sinewy elegance entirely its own."
    Publishers Weekly

  • "An unusual love story, The Goat Bridge is an unforgettable story of loss and redemption built around some very powerful images. Richly layered and emotionally compelling, this haunting tale is not only deftly written but also features masterful characterization."
    Register-Pajaronian (Watsonville CA)

  • Winner of The William Faulkner - William Wisdom Gold Medal

  • PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction finalist

Classroom Resources

Reading Group Guide (PDF)

Product Details

  • 320 pages.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2009
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02163-5


  • PDF: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

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Keywords

  • Yugoslavia, Balkans, Croatia, Croatian War of Independence, Chicago

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