American Mother

Product Details
$25.99  $24.17
Etruscan Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Colum McCann has seven novels and three collections of short stories have been published in over forty languages and received some of the world's most prestigious literary awards and honors, including the National Book Award for his novel Let the Great World Spin in 2013. His novel TransAtlantic was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013, and his most recent novel, Apeirogon, also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is an international best-seller on four continents.

Diane M. Foley co-founded the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in the weeks after her son, a freelance journalist, was beheaded by members of ISIS in the Syrian Desert in 2014. Inspired by the life, work, and moral courage of her son, Diane has worked with Congress and every presidential administration since, catalyzing action, research, and policy to win freedom for all US Nationals wrongfully detained or held hostage abroad.


"One of the best books I've read in many, many years, if not in my life."--Anderson Cooper

"A spectacular tale of violence and forgiveness."-- Salman Rushdie

"Foley's urge to understand the psychology of one of her son's captors made her a perfect match for McCann, who has described the value of 'radical empathy' to his moral compass."--New York Times

"This is an extraordinary story of grace, forgiveness and moral courage. Bookended by Diane Foley's meetings with her son's killer, American Mother plunges us into the heart of darkness and then, somehow, on the far end, discovers unexpected light and hope. Diane Foley's voice, as captured by Colum McCann, is one of the most compelling in recent literary memory. An honest, searing, heartbreaking book."--Patrick Radden Keefe

"It's kind of unique in my experience. . . . It's a novelist writing about an actual event with a depth and thoroughness that you never get from the news."--Michael Cunningham, via New York Times

"American Mother is a book that will shake your soul out. A thriller, a memoir, a mystery, a portrait of forgiveness, and a literary song of grace, Colum McCann and Diane Foley have filled the empty chair for us all. One of the most extraordinarily well-braided stories that I have read in years."--Sting

"Reading American Mother is nothing but humbling: that we should all be so decent and so wise, so generous of heart."--The Guardian

★ "It is hard to call such a tragic story a thing of beauty, and yet that is what McCann has created here. Unforgettable."-- Booklist (starred review)

★ "A harrowing memoir of grief and love."-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"An innovative, unsettling and utterly compelling narrative."--Washington Post

"Artfully structured and delivered with propulsive intensity and heart, American Mother takes us deep into what must be every parent's nightmare."--Pico Iyer, Air Mail

"Having lived through every mother's worst nightmare and somehow survived, Diane Foley leads with her heart in her fierce advocacy for Americans captured abroad. Now, in this book, she helps us understand how that is possible by inviting us to walk with her through some of the hardest moments of her life, courageously facing the unthinkable, sharing a candor that takes your breath away, and a deep hope that generations to come will never have to face what she did."-- Judy Woodruff

"American Mother hits bookshelves at a time when understanding the experience of those held captive is a matter not only of empathy but also of public policy."--Christian Science Monitor

"This is a work of great faith and redemption. And here is a woman making the whole world accessible to us all."--Jamie Lee Curtis