Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. A Boy In Winter tells of the three days that follow and the lives that are overturned in the process. And in the midst of it all is the determined boy Yankel who will throw his and his young brother's chances of surviving to strangers.
A Boy In Winter is a story of hope when all is lost, and of mercy when the times have none.
'Without wasting a word, Seiffert follows their journey with an implacable calm, although outrage lurks under the surface of every word' Literary Review
'Tremendous' Boston Globe
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Rachel Seiffert's first novel, The Dark Room, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and was made into the feature film Lore. She was named as one of Granta's twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 2003, and in 2011 she received the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Field Study, a collection of short stories, received an award from PEN International. Her second novel Afterwards was long-listed for the 2007 Orange Prize as was her third, The Walk Home. Her books have been published in eighteen languages. Rachel Seiffert lives in London with her family.
This year's standout novel -- Willy Maley * Herald * Rachel Seiffert's tale vividly evokes the Ukrainian landscape and the harrowing experiences of Jews at the hands of the Nazis -- James Marriott * The Times * The power of her writing comes not from emotional manipulation or verbal fireworks but from her marshaling of the sort of visual detail that makes her settings feel almost tangible, and from the bonds she builds between her wary characters . . . with A Boy in Winter, Seiffert has unleashed literature's unique power to analyze history's scroll, to let fiction judge * New York Times * Seiffert's writing is spare and atmospheric, perfectly paced to achieve the maximum effect of stillness yielding to panic, order giving way to violent disorder and, eventually, winter turning into spring * Times Literary Supplement * A spellbinding evocation of fear and threat tinged with the possibility of hope and change, -- Philippe Sands, author of East West Street * Observer * Rachel Seiffert writes short, fast narratives about historical events that have shaped our time. This latest, unsettling work centres on a small Ukrainian town, weeks after the German invasion in 1941 as the SS round up and murder the Jewish inhabitants. We follow runaway children, a German engineer with doubts about the Nazis, and a young Ukrainian who has to decide whether to collaborate. Moral choices and their consequences are brought to life on the page. The ending is particularly moving * The Times * Spare, elegant and devastating * Psychologies * Completely captures those times in a vivid, precise, captivating and terrible way -- Philippe Sands Without wasting a word, Seiffert follows their journey with an implacable calm, although outrage lurks under the surface of every word * Literary Review * Rachel Seiffert's new novel A Boy in Winter stretches over only three days, through which you encounter all the emotions of the time, horror and instinct for survival, family loyalty, and above all perhaps, bravery -- James Naughtie * BBC World TV * Rachel Seiffert writes short, fast narratives about the big historical events that have shaped our time . . . The primal energy in this novel is a moral sore that will never heal. How could Seiffert's beloved Opa (grandad) not know what was going on? How, knowing, could he and her Oma not resist? Yet had they resisted, Seiffert would not be here, in 2017, to write for us. One closes this fine novel sensing the confused pain it must have caused Rachel Seiffert to write it -- John Sutherland * The Times * Seiffert's cool tone never wavers - her spare, beautiful prose is a joy to read -- Helen Dunmore * Guardian * A fine novel that locates small, flickering lights of hope in an otherwise desolate landscape -- Nick Rennison * Sunday Times * Seiffert's prose is not showy, but graceful and precise. The misery of the dank streets is relieved by flashes of light and humanity * The Economist *
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