Charles Frazier
AUTHOR

Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. COLD MOUNTAIN, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller and won the National Book Award in 1997 and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film by Anthony Minghella in 2003. Charles's second novel, THIRTEEN MOONS, was a New York Times bestseller and named a best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His third novel, NIGHTWOODS, was a critically acclaimed literary thriller set in a fictional Western North Carolina town in the early 1960s. His latest novel, VARINA, is available now.

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MORE ABOUT VARINA:

Sooner or later, history asks, which side were you on?

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

Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. Davis 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--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.

"Beautifully rendered... Frazier in this, his fourth novel, lyrically resurrects the blasted but hauntingly beautiful Southern landscape just after the war... Thanks to Frazier's delicate ventriloquism, Varina Davis becomes a marvelously fallible character, complicated enough to stand on her compromised own." (New York Times)

"In some ways, 'Varina' can be read as an antidote to 'Gone With the Wind.' [It is] a finely wrought novel that will reward rereading. Elegiac without being exculpatory, it is an indictment of complicity without ignoring the historic complexity of the great evil at the core of American history." (Washington Post)

"Frazier's interjection of historical detail is richly informative, and his descriptions of the natural world of the South are lyrical . . . A sharp, evocative novel." (Publishers Weekly)

An Amazon Best Book of April 2018: "The author of Cold Mountain returns to the American Civil War and imagines the life of Varina Howell, who married a Mississippi landowner with dreams of living a quiet, comfortable life. Fate had other plans, however, as her husband would later become the president of the Confederacy. Unlike Jefferson Davis, Howell had mixed feelings about the war and slavery, a struggle Frazier uses to explore the roots of racism. The novel is at once profound and propulsive, especially as it describes her flight from Richmond, children in tow, Union soldiers on their heels...But no sooner do you sympathize with Howell does she betray her own deep-seated prejudices, ones she will eventually question and try to atone for (to a certain degree). Varina is a fascinating portrait of a complicated woman--one that holds a mirror up to our own time and asks: Do you like what you see?" (Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review)

"Varina portrays a prescient, conflicted heroine. . . Slyly paced . . . When [Frazier] is at full-throttle, incredible declarations are tossed off as mere jottings." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"No writer today crafts more exquisite sentences than Charles Frazier." (USA Today)

"A study of guilt and grief, "Varina" showcases historical fiction at its finest: emotive and explanatory. It displays Frazier's immense talent and bountiful creativity. And it earns its place among the finest Civil War novels of any era as it chronicles damaged lives and a deservedly lost cause." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

"Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details--he has a scholar's command of the physical realities of early America and a novelist's gift for bringing them to life." (Time)

"Charles Frazier's feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed." (New York Review of Books)

"Reading a Frazier novel is like listening to a fine symphony. He's a maestro whose pen is his baton, beckoning the best that each sentence has to offer." (Denver Post)

"There are things so masterful words can't do them justice. Frazier's writing falls in that category." (Asheville Citizen-Times)

"One of our very best writers." (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

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Best Sellers

    • Varina

    • A Novel
    • By: Charles Frazier
    • Narrated by: Molly Parker
    • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
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    • Performance
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    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....

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    • By Norma Mitchell on 06-09-18

    Regular price: $30.79

    • Cold Mountain

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    • Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
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    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1,174
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    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....

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    • By M. Dunn on 02-09-04

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    • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
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    This magnificent novel by one of America's finest writers is the epic of one man's remarkable journey, set in 19th-century America against the background of a vanishing people....

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    • By Dick Galland on 10-30-06

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    • Nightwoods

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    • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
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    The extraordinary author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons returns with a dazzling new novel of suspense and love set in small-town North Carolina in the early 1960s....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    • By Molly on 10-20-11

    Regular price: $24.50

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