Cold Mountain (novel)
Overview
 
Cold Mountain is a 1997
1997 in literature
The year 1997 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Tom Clancy signs a book deal with Pearson Custom Publishing and Penguin Putnam Inc. , giving him US$50 million for the world-English rights to two new books . A second agreement gives him another US$25 million for a...

 historical fiction
Historical fiction
Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional...

 novel by Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier is an award-winning American historical novelist.Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973. He earned an M.A. from Appalachian State University in the mid-1970s, and received his Ph.D. in English from the University...

. It tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 army near the end of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 who walks for months to return to Ada Monroe, the love of his life; the story shares several similarities with Homer's The Odyssey. The novel alternates chapter-by-chapter between Inman's and Ada's stories. It was Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier is an award-winning American historical novelist.Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973. He earned an M.A. from Appalachian State University in the mid-1970s, and received his Ph.D. in English from the University...

's first novel and a major bestseller, selling roughly three million copies worldwide.
Encyclopedia
Cold Mountain is a 1997
1997 in literature
The year 1997 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Tom Clancy signs a book deal with Pearson Custom Publishing and Penguin Putnam Inc. , giving him US$50 million for the world-English rights to two new books . A second agreement gives him another US$25 million for a...

 historical fiction
Historical fiction
Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional...

 novel by Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier is an award-winning American historical novelist.Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973. He earned an M.A. from Appalachian State University in the mid-1970s, and received his Ph.D. in English from the University...

. It tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 army near the end of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 who walks for months to return to Ada Monroe, the love of his life; the story shares several similarities with Homer's The Odyssey. The novel alternates chapter-by-chapter between Inman's and Ada's stories. It was Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier is an award-winning American historical novelist.Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973. He earned an M.A. from Appalachian State University in the mid-1970s, and received his Ph.D. in English from the University...

's first novel and a major bestseller, selling roughly three million copies worldwide. It was also adapted into an award-winning film of the same name
Cold Mountain (film)
Cold Mountain is a 2003 war drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier...

.

Cold Mountain is a real mountain located within the Pisgah National Forest
Pisgah National Forest
Pisgah National Forest is a National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. It is administered by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. The Pisgah National Forest is completely contained within the state of North Carolina...

, Haywood County, North Carolina
Haywood County, North Carolina
-National protected areas:* Blue Ridge Parkway * Great Smoky Mountains National Park * Pisgah National Forest -Major Highways & Roads:* Interstate 40* U.S. Highway 19* U.S. Highway 23* U.S. Highway 74* U.S...

.

Plot summary

The novel opens in a Confederate military hospital where the protagonist, Inman, is recovering from a recent battle wound. Tired of fighting for a cause he never believed in and longing for his home at Cold Mountain, North Carolina, he decides to desert from the Confederate Army and sets out on an epic journey home.

The narrative alternates between the story of Inman and that of Ada Monroe, a minister's daughter recently relocated from Charleston to the rural mountain community of Cold Mountain. Though they only knew each other for a brief time before Inman departed for the war, it is largely the hope of seeing Ada again that drives Inman to desert the army and make the dangerous journey back to Cold Mountain. Details of their brief history together are told at intervals in flashback over the course of the novel.

At Cold Mountain, Ada's father soon dies and the farm where the genteel city-bred Ada lives, named Black Cove, is soon reduced to a state of disrepair. A young woman named Ruby, outspoken and resourceful, soon moves in and begins to help Ada to overcome her circumstances and the two of them form a close friendship as they attempt to survive in this harsh war-torn environment.

Inman's journey to return to Ada is perilous. He faces starvation, extreme weather, the constant harassment of the Home Guard sent to track down deserters, and the treachery of other desperate individuals. He is at times aided in his journey by strangers equally affected by the horrors of war. Frazier's narrative depicts a bleak landscape of America during the Civil War focusing on the emotional and psychological scars left upon combatants and citizens alike.

Awards and nominations

The novel won the 1997 National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

, the 1998 Boeke Prize
Exclusive Books Boeke Prize
The Exclusive Books Boeke Prize is a book prize awarded in South Africa, loosely modelled on the United Kingdom's Man Booker Prize, and sponsored by Exclusive Books...

 and the W.D. Weatherford Award in 1997.

Film adaptation

It was later adapted for the screen by director Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella, CBE was an English film director, playwright and screenwriter. He was Chairman of the Board of Governors at the British Film Institute between 2003 and 2007....

 in the 2003 film Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain (film)
Cold Mountain is a 2003 war drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier...

, starring Jude Law
Jude Law
David Jude Heyworth Law , known professionally as Jude Law, is an English actor, film producer and director.He began acting with the National Youth Music Theatre in 1987, and had his first television role in 1989...

, Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
Nicole Mary Kidman, AC is an American-born Australian actress, singer, film producer, spokesmodel, and humanitarian. After starring in a number of small Australian films and TV shows, Kidman's breakthrough was in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm...

, and Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
Renée Kathleen Zellweger is an American actress and producer. Zellweger first gained widespread attention for her role in the film Jerry Maguire , and subsequently received two nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her roles as Bridget Jones in the comedy Bridget Jones's Diary ...

. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

, including Best Actor for Jude Law, and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Renée Zellweger.
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