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By Andrew Krivak

The Sojourn, finalist for the nationwide booklet Award and winner of either the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and inaugural Chautauqua Prize, is the tale of Jozef Vinich, who used to be uprooted from a 19th-century mining city in Colorado via a relatives tragedy and returns together with his father to an impoverished shepherd’s lifestyles in rural Austria-Hungary. while global warfare One comes, Jozef joins his followed brother as a sharpshooter within the Kaiser’s military, surviving a dangerous trek around the frozen Italian Alps and catch by way of a effective enemy.

A stirring story of brotherhood, coming-of-age, and survival, that used to be encouraged through the author’s circle of relatives background, this novel inspires a time whilst Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, and Germans fought at the similar aspect whereas divided by means of language, ethnicity, and social type within the so much brutal warfare so far. it's also a poignant story of fathers and sons, addressing the good immigration to the USA and the need to reside the yankee dream amidst the unfolding tragedy in Europe.

The Sojourn is Andrew Krivak's first novel. Krivak is additionally the writer of A lengthy Retreat: looking for a spiritual Life, a memoir approximately his 8 years within the Jesuit Order, and editor of The Letters of William Carlos Williams to Edgar Irving Williams, 1902-1912, which got the Louis L. Martz Prize. The grandson of Slovak immigrants, Krivak grew up in Pennsylvania, has lived in London, and now lives along with his spouse and 3 teenagers in Massachusetts the place he teaches within the Honors software at Boston College.

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My father—a guy whose descendants should have been a right away line of the previous Kievan Rus, for his face appeared carved from rock maple, his hair the feel of bear’s fur, and he stood a whole foot taller than any stunted villager who walked subsequent to or previous him—rose up in entrance of his spouse and thundered, “My paintings feeds us all, and my son will consume first, or i'll depart you and your boys on my own to starve. ” She shrank from him yet, even wounded, barked again, “What have you learnt? You’re by no means the following part the yr. i'll say who eats and who doesn’t. return on your sheep and your mattress within the mountains. Father Bogdan will listen approximately this. ” “I’ve already given Father Bogdan an excessive amount of cash for this match,” my father’s voice boomed, and he or she ran from him in worry. “If my son dies,” he stated, “they’ll welcome you and that thieving priest either in Hell. ” “He’ll pay attention of this! ” she screamed, and locked herself in a tiny room off the kitchen. “He’ll listen of this! ” yet her voice and her intentions sounded vulnerable and muffled throughout the door. “He won’t have to,” my father referred to as again as he swept me up and carried me out of the home. “I’m off to inform him myself. ” From that day on, for the remainder of the wintry weather, my father and that i ate jointly an identical foodstuff on the comparable desk, and if my stepmother a lot as lingered or addressed both of us with even passing remark, he might say in a troublesome, flat tone, “Chod’ pre•,” and he or she might slink away like a puppy. In spring, he should have made up our minds that I not wanted the care of my stepmother. For at the first Saturday of Lent, after he had packed the mule and saddled his horse, he requested me if i wished to compliment him for a trip. whilst I nodded certain in amazement, he acknowledged, “You had greater get your coat and boots, then, simply because we’re going to journey for a while. ” Strapped into the saddle of the piebald horse he had acquired from a Gypsy (“The top buy I’d ever made,” he acknowledged the day we positioned that horse to leisure in a meadow grave), I traveled with him and the sheep and Sawatch the puppy out of the village and up into the mountains of the Carpathian variety, the place we lived for the spring and summer time in a cabin he equipped himself, and back for the construction of bryndza, to sheer the sheep, and for wintry weather, while he tended to the animals that have been his and repaired tack for one more season, a cycle that might come to outline all that I knew and enjoyed of existence. whilst Easter got here early, it can be sour chilly within the mountains for the 1st month, however the cabin was once equipped of stacked logs round a crucial fireplace (he had noticeable this performed in America), and the partitions have been sealed with a mortar he made of clay and straw. The roof used to be pitched and overhung the partitions outdoors, in order that the elements took little toll on them, and the interior was once entire with a similar milled planks he had used at the roof and no drafts encroached, the fireplace burned regular, and he hung his pots, skins, and my mother’s icon of Saint Michael the Archangel at the wall. The sheep we tended have been used to being outdoor yearround.

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