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By Andrew Krivak

The Sojourn, finalist for the nationwide publication 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 by means of a kinfolk tragedy and returns along with his father to an impoverished shepherd’s existence in rural Austria-Hungary. while global warfare One comes, Jozef joins his followed brother as a sharpshooter within the Kaiser’s military, surviving a deadly trek around the frozen Italian Alps and trap by way of a successful enemy.

A stirring story of brotherhood, coming-of-age, and survival, that used to be encouraged by way of the author’s circle of relatives historical past, this novel conjures up a time while Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, and Germans fought at the related aspect whereas divided through language, ethnicity, and social type within the so much brutal conflict so far. it's also a poignant story of fathers and sons, addressing the good immigration to the USA and the will to dwell the yankee dream amidst the unfolding tragedy in Europe.

The Sojourn is Andrew Krivak's first novel. Krivak can also be 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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The shuttle agent in Prague advised me that i used to be to fulfill a ship referred to as the Mount Clay in Hamburg, an outdated troopship switched over to a passenger steamer, yet that he was once doubtful as to whilst precisely it was once scheduled to reach and embark back for the U.S.. i assumed that I had overlooked it by the point I arrived, however it became out that it used to be days overdue, after which took extra days to disembark its passengers and resupply, end result of the loss of longshoremen. these have been a misplaced and empty 4 days—bleak skies, a kick back drizzle, and everybody ravenous, notwithstanding too drained even to appear for nutrients. All I keep in mind approximately that urban, except my steamer at dock at the river, is the not going variety of timber and the volume of unbroken floor that formed its environs. extra ships got here into its port than the other position in Europe, and but I felt as if i used to be spending per week in a rustic apartment on a lake, one whose population consisted totally of mute and ravenous prisoners. after we boarded, I went lower than to survey my tiny room in steering, notwithstanding the odor of diesel and the stale air jogged my memory of the educate I had taken after leaving Sardinia, and so I walked again up on deck, regardless of the rain, which saved others lower than tarpaulins or down lower than. I seemed around the river to a flock of derricks idle and anticipating freight both but to come back or that had by no means confirmed. A determine moved slowly between them after which stood in complete view of me—a guy, a dockworker probably, as idle because the metal that surrounded him, and but seeming healthy adequate to stroll, which was once whatever. i attempted to calculate the gap among him and me, yet i used to be unexpectedly disoriented and misplaced my complete feel of path. I placed my head in my fingers and rested them at the rail to regular myself. lower than, the present swirled brown and in eddies alongside the facet of the send. while my vertigo dissipated, I seemed up and glanced downriver to the place the water bent and rose to the horizon until eventually it disappeared. I became and hunted for the employee, and there he stood, nonetheless at the shipyard bulkhead. He lit a cigarette and gazed at our delivery, and that i had the urge without warning to reply to his looking and to make my presence recognized. I raised my arm above the parapet of deck railing and waved in a gesture that was once all of sudden greeting, salute, and leave-taking. He back my wave as if he had come the following simply to see me off, flicked his cigarette into the water, and disappeared amid the woodland of cranes and rigging. THAT used to be the tip OF MY SOJOURN IN WHAT a couple of round me right here nonetheless name “the ol’ kawntree,” although it's no kingdom for which I lengthy or in some way leave out in my outdated age, while reminiscence is meant to ease and there comes a forgiveness with forgetting. it's going to regularly be a mourning land, a spot eager for redemption, for there isn't any finish to the reminiscence of it, no likelihood of forgetting, and so I knew that day that i might need to move domestic, notwithstanding I puzzled what may watch for me there within the kingdom during which i used to be born yet had by no means belonged. If i might be welcomed after my time away.

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