Charles Frazier

Easton Press Charles Frazier books

Cold Mountain - signed modern classic - 1999
Varina - signed first edition - 2018


Author Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier is an American author best known for his critically acclaimed debut novel, Cold Mountain. Born on November 4, 1950, in Asheville, North Carolina, Frazier has become a prominent figure in contemporary American literature. Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, an environment that would later influence his writing. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in English. Subsequently, he pursued graduate studies, earning a Master's and Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina. Before venturing into fiction, Frazier worked in academia, teaching literature and writing. His academic background and love for literature laid the foundation for his later career as a novelist.

In 1997, Charles Frazier burst onto the literary scene with his debut novel, Cold Mountain. The book, set during the American Civil War, tells the poignant and epic tale of a wounded Confederate soldier, Inman, as he embarks on a perilous journey to reunite with his beloved Ada Monroe. Cold Mountain received widespread acclaim for its evocative prose, well-drawn characters, and exploration of the human condition amidst the brutality of war. The novel won the National Book Award for Fiction and became a bestseller, catapulting Frazier to literary stardom. Following the success of Cold Mountain, Frazier continued to publish novels, although none achieved the same level of commercial success as his debut. His subsequent works include Thirteen Moons (2006) and Nightwoods (2011), both of which received mixed reviews.

Charles Frazier is celebrated for his ability to capture the essence of the Southern landscape and history in his writing. His novels often explore themes of love, loss, and the impact of war on individuals and communities. Frazier's distinctive style, marked by lyrical prose and attention to historical detail, has solidified his place as a significant voice in contemporary American literature. Beyond his contributions to literature, Charles Frazier has maintained a relatively private personal life. His impact on the literary world, however, is indelible, with Cold Mountain standing as a testament to his storytelling prowess and ability to transport readers to another time and place.


Cold Mountain

One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain is a masterpiece that is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished American in all its savagery, solitude, and splendor.

Cold Mountain is a novel about a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved near the Civil War's end. At once a love story & a harrowing account of one man’s long walk home, Cold Mountain introduces a new talent in American literature.

Based on local history & family stories passed down by Frazier’s great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded Confederate soldier, Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war & back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. His odyssey thru the devastated landscape of the soon to be defeated South interweaves with Ada’s struggle to revive her father’s farm, with the help of an intrepid young drifter named Ruby. As their long-separated lives begin to converge at the close of the war, Inman & Ada confront the vastly transformed world they’ve been delivered.

Frazier reveals insight into human relations with the land & the dangers of solitude. He also shares with the great 19th century novelists a keen observation of a society undergoing change.

Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved there years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father's derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories, Cold Mountain asserts itself as an authentic American Odyssey hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving.

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction An instant, international bestseller, Charles Frazier's debut novel of love and peril at the end of the Civil War was a publishing sensation, the inspiration for an Oscar-nominated blockbuster starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, and the subject of an acclaimed opera. Over 20 years later, it stands as an essential, modern classic. Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history in 1997 when it stood at the top of the New York Times best-seller list for sixty-one weeks, won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award, and went on to sell over three million copies. Now reissued for its twentieth year, this extraordinary tale of a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved at the end of the Civil War is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished land. Adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, and a 2015 opera co-commissioned between Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia and the Minnesota Opera, Cold Mountain portrays an era that continues to speak eloquently to our time.


In his powerful fourth novel, Charles Frazier returns to the time and place of Cold Mountain, vividly bringing to life the chaos and devastation of the Civil War.

With her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects a life of security as a Mississippi landowner. He instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history and culpable regardless of her intentions.

The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond and travel south on their own, now fugitives with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.”

Intimate in its detailed observations of one woman’s tragic life and epic in its scope and power, Varina is a novel of an American war and its aftermath. Ultimately, the book is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences.


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