- Paperback: 191 pages
- Publisher: Bellevue Literary Pr (5 May 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1934137340
- ISBN-13: 978-1934137345
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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The Sojourn Paperback – 5 May 2011
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National Book Award Finalist
Chautauqua Prize Winner
Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winner
International DUBLIN Literary Award Longlist * Julia Ward Howe Book Award Finalist * American Booksellers Association Indie Next List * Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection * Boston Globe Bestseller
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR * Washington Post * Plain Dealer * Virginian-Pilot * Barnes & Noble Review
"Some writers are good at drawing a literary curtain over reality, and then there are writers who raise the veil and lead us to see for the first time. Krivak belongs to the latter. The Sojourn, about a war and a family and coming-of-age, does not present a single false moment of sentimental creation. Rather, it looks deeply into its characters' lives with wisdom and humanity, and, in doing so, helps us experience a distant past that feels as if it could be our own." --National Book Award judges' citation
"A story that celebrates, in its stripped down but resonant fashion, the flow between creation and destruction we all call life." --Dayton Literary Peace Prize judges' citation
"A novel of uncommon lyricism and moral ambiguity that balances the spare with the expansive." --Chautauqua Prize committee citation
"The Sojourn is a beautifully told story of a young man's coming of age in World War I Austria. It is quiet, serene, and filled with humanity, even while recounting scenes of violence and war." --Miami-Dade Public Library System, International DUBLIN Literary Award Longlist citation
"[An] exquisite first novel. . . . Full of violence and beauty, Krivak shares a unique story about a boy becoming a man during a tragic period in world history." --Sherri Gallentine, Vroman's Bookstore, Indie Next List citation
"With unforced elegance, this novel renders the journey of a young man who leaves his impoverished shepherd's life behind for the World War I killing fields of Europe." --Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers committee citation
"A gripping and harrowing war story that has the feel of a classic." --NPR.org "Year's Top Book Club Picks" citation
"Splendid. . . . A novel for anyone who has a sharp eye and ear for life." --NPR All Things Considered
"[A] powerful, assured first novel. . . . If the early pages of The Sojourn sometimes recall Cormac McCarthy (especially The Crossing), the heart of the book is a harrowing portrait of men at war, as powerful as Ernst Junger's classic Storm of Steel and Isaac Babel's brutally poetic Red Cavalry stories." --Washington Post
"A beautiful tale of persistence and dogged survival, set in the mountains, villages and battlefields of a Europe that exists only in memories and stories." --Los Angeles Times
"[The Sojourn] can be read as a classic of war. It is beautifully plotted, as rapt and understated as a hymn. . . . [Krivak] writes hunting scenes as evocative as those in The Deer Hunter. Then he outstrips that film in rending the harrowing and seductive elements of war." --Plain Dealer
"A captivating, thoughtful narrative. . . . A poignant reminder of how humanity was so greatly affected by what was once called the war to end all wars." --Star Tribune
"[The Sojourn] deserves to be placed on the same shelf as Remarque, Hemingway and Heller. . . . Krivak has written an anti-war novel with all the heat of a just-fired artillery gun." --Barnes and Noble Review/Christian Science Monitor
"A fairly short, brisk story that covers a lot of ground. . . . Beautifully written and uplifting even through all the tragedy." --Press-Telegram
"Hope for the future, the conversion of tragedy into meaning--lurks throughout The Sojourn's lush and lyrical prose." --Image: Art, Faith, Mystery
"Unsentimental yet elegant. . . . With ease, [The Sojourn] joins the ranks of other significant works of fiction portraying World War I--Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front or Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms." --Library Journal (starred review)
"An assured, meditative novel. . . . The ghost of Hemingway informs some of Krivak's notes from the front lines, while several other literary influences seem to be evident in his slender book, including the Italian novelist and memoirist Primo Levi, himself the veteran of a very long walk through Europe, and, for obvious reasons, the Charles Frazier of Cold Mountain. Yet Krivak has his own voice, given to lyrical observations on the nature of human existence." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Charged with emotion and longing . . . this lean, resonant debut is an undeniably powerful accomplishment." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The prose echoes Faulkner, and Krivak shows us the little-known Italian front of WWI in fascinating episodes." --Booklist
"Beautiful. . . . Deftly wrought. . . . Krivak studied all the Great War novels before writing, and the result is a debut novel at home amongst those classics. Highly recommended." --Historical Novels Review (Editors' Choice)
"Rendered in spare, elegant prose, yet rich in authentic detail. . . . [The Sojourn] stands with the most memorable stories about World War I." --Foreword Reviews
"The Sojourn is a fiercely wrought novel, populated by characters who lead harsh, even brutal lives, which Krivak renders with impressive restraint, devoid of embellishment or sentimentality. And yet--almost despite such a stoic prose style--his sentences accrue and swell and ultimately break over a reader like water: they are that supple and bracing and shining." --Leah Hager Cohen, author of The Grief of Others and Strangers and Cousins
"The Sojourn is a work of uncommon strength by a writer of rare and powerful elegance about a war, now lost to living memory, that echoes in headlines of international strife to this day." --Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow and Epitaph
"Intimate and keenly observed, [The Sojourn] is a war story, love story, and coming of age novel all rolled into one. I thought of Lermontov and Stendhal, Joseph Roth and Cormac McCarthy as I read. But make no mistake. Krivak's voice and sense of drama are entirely his own." --Sebastian Smee, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic
About the Author
Andrew Krivak is the author of three novels: The Bear; The Signal Flame, a Chautauqua Prize finalist; and The Sojourn, a National Book Award finalist and winner of both the Chautauqua Prize and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He is also the author of A Long Retreat: In Search of a Religious Life, a memoir about his eight years in the Jesuit Order, and editor of The Letters of William Carlos Williams to Edgar Irving Williams, 19021912, which received the Louis L. Martz Prize. Krivak lives with his wife and three children in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
While reading The Sojourn I could imagine myself being right where Jozef Vinich was; whether in the hills tending the sheep with his father, on the battlefield, or while stalking another sharpshooter like himself in the various mountain regions.
I have to admit that I was hesitant whether I wanted to continue reading after the first chapter. The story line was worth following, I liked the flow of the story Jozef is telling but for some reason the author didn't use quotation marks during dialogue. I have never run across this style of writing before and found it hard to concentrate. When I got to chapter two quotation marks and correct punctuation was again added.
A young man growing up in his fathers homeland. His father Ondrej Vinich has harsh ways of making his son learn about everyday life and especially how to stalk prey and hunt for food. but learning to handle a riffle is what Jozef must learn.
When war comes to their doorstep, Jozef and his adopted brother Zlee both enlist against his fathers wishes.
Jozefs only fear once the war is finally over is whether Ondrej is still alive and will he forgive him for going to war in the first place.
This book is a keeper. One I am sure to enjoy again.
Set in the twilight years of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire, the story tells the tale of Jozef Vinich, an American-born shepherd living in the Carpathians with his father and half-brother. The coming of the Great War reaches and eventually touches their lives, pulling them into the maelstrom. Jozef marches off to war as a sharpshooter, dealing death on the Italian Front of World War One as a soldier of the Emperor. We see a slow transformation in Jozef from a youth rebelling against his father and walking into a brutal war, to a wronged foot soldier and lost soul shunted back to a home he barely recognizes.
In this short book it is the writing that stands out: descriptive imagery that brings to a sharp view what the author was trying to put down to paper. This is exemplified in the following sentence: "Windage was light and the morning air dry, and Zlee just brushed the trigger and I watched that man's head snap back and body crumble as though it had been relieved of its bones." The sentence could have been split in two, but nevertheless the imagery it conjures is unmistakable. "The Sojourn" is a memorable read, and will be a worthy addition to the bookshelf.