NEW YORK (RNS) — Award-winning author Colum McCann’s anticipated new novel, “Apeirogon,” bases his story on the unlikely real-life friendship between two bereaved fathers born into opposite sides of an internecine conflict over land, religion, finite resources and competing narratives. 

Rami Elhanan, 70, an Israeli Jew from the western tip of Jerusalem, served in a tank repair unit of the Israeli army during the Yom Kippur War. His father came to Jerusalem in 1946, shortly after surviving Auschwitz. Bassam Aramin, 52, a Palestinian Muslim from Hebron, in the West Bank, spent seven years of his youth in an Israeli prison for hurling a defunct hand grenade at an Israeli jeep.

Their paths crossed at a Combatants for Peace gathering, an Israeli-Palestinian movement of ex-fighters committed

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