The Sojourn

The Sojourn

Book - 2011 | 1st ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:

National Book Award Finalist
Chautauqua Prize Winner
Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winner

"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

The Sojourn is the story of Jozef Vinich, who was uprooted from a 19th-century mining town in Colorado by a family tragedy and returns with his father to an impoverished shepherd's life in rural Austria-Hungary. When World War One comes, Jozef joins his adopted brother as a sharpshooter in the Kaiser's army, surviving a perilous trek across the frozen Italian Alps and capture by a victorious enemy.

A stirring tale of brotherhood, coming-of-age, and survival, that was inspired by the author's own family history, this novel evokes a time when Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, 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 amidst the unfolding tragedy in Europe.

Andrew Krivak is the author of three novels: The Bear (forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press in February 2020); 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 lives with his wife and three children in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Jaffrey, New Hampshire.

Publisher: New York : Bellevue Literary Press, [2011]
Edition: 1st ed.
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9781934137345
Branch Call Number: FIC Kriva
Characteristics: 191 pages ; 19 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 07, 2013

This book was a very good story. It reminded me of a shorter version of East of Eden, but not as well written as that book. Too many run on sentences made it drag at times, but the story held me. This was an NPR recommended book and it was a solid 3 out of 5 stars.

Dec 18, 2011

Despite the compelling life story of the WWI sniper, I found the tone of the narrative lifeless and a slog to read for such a short book.

Jul 31, 2011

Amazing writer. I felt like I was right there living the life of the main character. My paternal grandfathers were born in Hungary/Poland/USSR in 1880. This book gave me a real glimpse as to why they migrated to the U.S. in early 1900. C Russell


Add a Quote
Dec 18, 2011

"...Now, if you want to learn how to shoot, and how to be a good hunter, you've got to learn to predict, but, more importantly, in yourself, how to be unpredictable."

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top