Originally published by Atlantic Monthly Press in 1997, Charles Frazier’s debut novel made publishing history when it sailed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list for sixty-one weeks, won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award, and went on to sell over three million copies.

Cold Mountain, the extraordinary story of a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved at the end of the Civil War, is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished land, a place where savagery coexists with splendor and human beings contend with the inhuman solitude of the wilderness.

Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, a Confederate soldier named Inman decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains to Ada, the woman he loves. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with bounty hunters and witches, slaves and marauders. At the same time, the intrepid Ada is trying to revive her father’s derelict farm and learning to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories, Cold Mountain asserts itself as an authentic odyssey, hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving.

Anthony Minghella’s film adaptation received seven Academy Award Nominations including Best Actor (Jude Law) and Best Supporting Actress (Reneé Zellweger).

1997 National Book Award Winner

1997 ABBY Award Winner
1997 Heartland Award Winner
1997 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

1998 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction Winner
1998 American Library Association Notable Book

New York Times bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller
USA Today bestseller

PRAISE for Cold Mountain


“Charles Frazier has taken on a daunting task–and has done extraordinarily well by it . . . a Whitmanesque foray into America: into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul.”
James Polk, The New York Times Book Review

“Charles Frazier’s feeling for the Southern landscape is reverential and beautifully composed. He has written an astonishing first novel.”
Alfred Kazin, The New York Review of Books

“An astonishing debut . . . The genuinely romantic saga of Ada and Inman is a page turner that attains the status of literature.”
Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

“A richly rewarding first novel . . . Wonderfully convincing, finely detailed.”
—Christian Science Monitor

“Strikingly beautiful . . . In its vivid evocation of a time and place, its steady storytelling momentum, and its unabashed affirmation of a fiction that takes moral choice seriously, Cold Mountain calls to mind Snow Falling on Cedars.”

“A great read–a stirring Civil War tale told with epic sweep [and] loaded with vivid historical detail.”

“As close to a masterpiece as American writing is going to come these days.”
Fred Chappell, Raleigh News & Observer

“This novel’s landscape is finely drawn, full of dark beauty and presentiment, and so are its characters.” —The New Yorker

“Measured and graceful . . . savor it. You’ll find the characters living in your head for a long time.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“An exciting work of fiction.” 
—The Washington Post Book World

“A rare and extraordinary book . . . heart-stopping . . . spellbinding.” 
—San Francisco Chronicle

“A haunting, beautifully written tale.”
Deirdre Donahue, USA Today

“Deserves all the literary prizes that might be lying about.”
Kaye Gibbons

“The novel is above all a sustained flight of the imagination.”
—Daily Telegraph

"Rich in evocative physical detail and timeless human insight, this debut novel set in the Civil War era rural South considers themes both grand (humanity's place in nature) and intimate (a love affair transformed by the war) as a wounded soldier makes his way home to the highlands of North Carolina and to his prewar sweetheart."
—Publishers Weekly

Cold Mountain offers compelling glimpses into the surreal horrors of [the Civil War]. . . . Inman’s gripping odyssey alternates with the story of princess-turned-pauper Ada. . . . Civil War buffs, old-time music devotees and love-story suckers–there’s something in this book for everyone”
Beth Macy, The Roanoke Times

“Frazier’s spare prose is rich in detail and nuance and never misses a beat in evoking the Civil War-era South. . . . Open this book to any page and you will find a description, simile, metaphor or word choice to take you breath away.”
Eva Ciabattoni, Los Altos Town Crier

“[A] spectacular book. . . . About loneliness and isolation and reaching out.”
Ann Klaiman, The Salida Mountain Mail

“A remarkable first novel, a romance of love, of friendship, of family, of land. Frazier has inhaled the spirit of the age and breathes it into the reader’s being.”
Erica Wager, The Times (London)

“Heartbreakingly beautiful . . . elegantly told and convincing down to the last haunting detail.”
John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

“This novel is so magnificent–in every conceivable aspect, and others previously unimagined–that it has occurred to me that the shadow of this book, and the joy I received in reading it, will fall over every other book I ever read. It seems even more possible to never want to read another book, so wonderful is this one. Cold Mountain is one of the great accomplishments in American literature.”
—Rick Bass

“A superb novel–thrilling, richly detailed and powerful. I was spellbound.”
Frank Conroy

“This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and I cried when it was over. It’s simply a miracle.”
Larry Brown, author of Father and Son

“A parallel narrative: Inman is seriously injured at the end of the Civil War and begins a dangerous journey home, and Ada has struggled to learn firsthand how to keep alive on her family farm. A beautifully written love story, with much to discuss.” Robin Powers, St. Helens Book Shop, St. Helens, OR, Book Sense quote

“A beautiful book, written in exquisite prose.”
Kate Atkinson

“Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is the most impressive and enthralling first novel I have read in a long time. It is a magnetic story, ambitious in scope, with richly developed characters and beautiful evocations of landscape. Though set in an earlier time, it is contemporary in the profoundest sense, with resonance of A Farewell to Arms.”
Willie Morris

“Charles Frazier’s novel is at once spare and eloquent, a panorama that the author stills long enough to make a portrait–a very evocative portrait of Inman, a soldier who is trying to escape a ruined world. Interspersed with so many moments of sadness, the many moments of compassion seem entirely convincing and are very affecting; when Ada “wanted to tell him how she had come to be what she was,” the understatement–as it is so often in Cold Mountain–is almost shattering. And then comes the ending.”
—Ann Beattie