“Soaring and stumbling over decades of midcentury Eastern Europe, Zoli is a riveting novel. … [It has] an inner reality so authentic it could only have come from the matrix of the novelist's imagination…. Colum McCann is blessed with an unlikely mix of an adventurer's spirit and an introvert's compassionate eye. His fiction reflects this sweet incongruity, roaming among life's dispossessed with heartfelt ease…. [Zoli] gives us a tapestry of an entire culture, one shrouded and then marginalized into near extinction.”

— GAIL CALDWELL, Boston Sunday Globe

“Beautifully written … Beautifully conceived, wonderfully told, the story is proof of an indomitable spirit. The elusive character of Zoli, the brilliant artist, is unforgettable.”

—The Washington Post Book World

“McCann affirms with Zoli, his fourth novel, that he is a writer with a method and a mission…. The Roma hardships under the Nazis, their hopes and cruel disillusion under Communism, are grittily conveyed in scenes well researched and often grip ping.”

—Los Angeles Times

“As Zoli sets off across Europe on foot, stripped of not only the potency of her Romany heritage but the promise of a Utopian future, each new encounter is charged with both futility and wonder.”

—The New Yorker

“Lyrical… as rich and sensuous as loamy, freshly turned soil… McCann's research and lustrous prose bring Zoli vibrantly alive.”

—Entertainment Weekly

“As assured as anything McCann has ever written, rich in vivid detail but wise, too, about the cruelty of the world … McCann allows us to enter a world few of us know anything about…. his prose is just plain gorgeous.”

—San Francisco Chronicle

“Astonishing … a carefully crafted and subtle portrait of one woman's rich and troubled relationship with her people, and with her own Gypsy heart… With a subtle and nuanced appreciation of a culture far different from his own, McCann offers us a place at the Gypsies’ campfire and gives us compelling reasons to stick around and warm up.”

—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“With a poet's language, McCann creates a haunting story about the pain of exile.”


“Mesmerizing … McCann artfully weaves Romani traditions, superstitions and expressions into a vibrant tableau, vividly rendering Zoli's conflicting urges to flee and stay.”

—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“McCann vividly animates an insular culture different from our own. Full of dense descriptions of everything from the intri cately carved caravans to the Gypsy women whose hair is sewn with gold coins, [he] tells a very convincing and very powerful story about the strength of community and the bur den of exile.”

—Booklist (starred review)

“Fascinating and tragic. As in all of his books, McCann nails the hopes and quiet sadness of characters who've been displaced.”

—Time Out New York

“A great book and a marvelously crafted story. I loved the different angles, the images and the depiction of the Roma. This is life without being sentimental or defensive.”


“If a writer's highest calling is to imagine what it is to be ‘other,’ then Colum McCann is a giant amonst us—fearless, huge-hearted, a poet with every living breath.”


“I review a great many Roma-themed manuscripts for publishers, but none has ever moved me as profoundly as the haunting story of Zoli. With its stark imagery, it takes one deep into the heart of World War II Europe, and for many readers it will be their first introduction to the bleak reality of Romani life. Colum McCann has another winner.”

—I AN HANCOCK,director of the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at the University of Texas at Austin

“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.”


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