Charles Frazier

The author of Nightwoods and Cold Mountain suggests three transporting reads.



Charles Frazier's debut novel, Cold Mountain, established him as a formidable talent in the historical fiction genre, topping bestseller lists and garnering the National Book Award in 1997. The story of Confederate deserter W. P. Inman's journey home during the Civil War resonated with readers and was made into a 2003 Academy Award-winning movie. Frazier's new book, Nightwoods, returns to the verdant territory of the Appalachian Moutains, where a killing unleashes a series of harrowing events on a young woman who must look after her murdered sister's children. This week, Frazier points us to three favorite, enduring reads.


Books by Charles Frazier



The Dharma Bums

By Jack Kerouac


"On the Road is the one I respect, a great American novel that will live as long as people care to read books, but this is the one I love. I read it every few years to revisit the sweet, sad narrative voice and the goofy literary backpacking trip in the Cascades. I made pretty much the same trip years ago, but Kerouac's vision lives stronger in my mind than my own memories."



Return of the Native

By Thomas Hardy


"This is the Hardy novel I've read most recently, but I could just as well choose nearly any of them for the deep-rooted sense of place and the rich, unsentimental evocation of landscape and local culture within which the characters find their fates."





Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer, 1943-1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright

By Steven Millhauser


"This sly, brilliant novel combines literary obsession with a beautiful, intricately detailed study of childhood. The writing is a sentence-by-sentence delight: complex, funny, deeply evocative, and always dazzling."

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.