The Sojourn

Publication Date: Apr 9, 2011
Paperback: 9781934137345
Ebook: 9781934137413

A poignant tale of fathers and sons, addressing the great immigration to America and the desire to live the American dream amid the unfolding tragedy in Europe.

Inspired by Andrew Krivak’s personal family history, The Sojourn is the story of Jozef Vinich, who was uprooted from a 19th-century mining town in Colorado by a shocking family tragedy to return with his father to an impoverished shepherd’s life in rural Austria-Hungary. When war comes, Jozef joins his cousin and brother-in-arms as a sharpshooter on the southern front, where he must survive a perilous trek across the frozen Italian Alps and capture by a victorious enemy.

As poetic as Cold Mountain and The English Patient, this novel grips readers with chilling scenes of death and survival as it evokes a time when Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, Hungarians, and Germans fought on the same side while divided by language, ethnicity, and social class in the most brutal war to date. It is also a poignant tale of fathers and sons, addressing the great immigration to America and the desire to live the American dream amid the unfolding tragedy in Europe.


National Book Award Finalist

Winner of The Chautauqua Prize

An Indie Next List selection: Great Reads from Booksellers You Trust

A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection

Winner 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize


Praise for The Sojourn

Surging in pace and momentum, The Sojourn is a deeply affecting narrative conjured by the rhythms of Krivak’s superb and sinuous prose. Intimate and keenly observed, it 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 The Boston Globe

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 House Lights

Charged with emotion and longing…this lean, resonant debut [is] an undeniably powerful accomplishment.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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 A Thread of Grace

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)