Literature and War Readalong April 29 2011: The Winter of the World by Carol Ann Lee

Carol Ann Lee’s novel The Winter of the World that has the same title as a collection of WWI poems, is the last novel in the readalong to be dedicated to WWI. I discovered the novel on Danielle’s blog and thought it would be a good addition to the 11 I had already chosen.

Carol Ann Lee has written mostly nonfiction books before. The Winter of the World is her second novel. This is what can be found on her amazon page.

Carol has written two novels: ‘Come Back To Me’ which is semi-autobiographical, and ‘The Winter of the World’ – about the Unknown Warrior – which received rave reviews when it was published in France last year. Le Monde ended their review: ‘Finally, here is a writer who understands the subtleties of the soul.’ The book was nominated for two major awards in France, but has yet to find a UK publisher (one commented that it was a beautiful story and compared her writing to Ian McEwan, but said it was simply ‘too patriotic’) although it has been published in America by Harper Collins.

Sounds intriguing. The French title is La rafale des tambours.

Among her nonfiction books are One of our Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley, Anne Frank’s Story, The Hidden Life of Otto Frank and Witness: The Story of David Smith Chief Prosecution Witness in the Moors Murders Case.

Should you want to read along you might want to get started a little earlier as the novel has a bit over 300 pages, however the discussion will start late in the month, on Friday 29.

20 thoughts on “Literature and War Readalong April 29 2011: The Winter of the World by Carol Ann Lee

  1. This one looks and sounds so good!! I’m waiting for my copy to come in from the library. Hopefully it shouldn’t take as long as last time (fingers crossed)!

    • I’m glad to have you join. I’m extremely curious to read it. The praise coming from France must say something as there were a few very good French WWI novels.

    • I just had a look and, yes, you are right. Colegate’s novel sounds quite good by the way. You did read it, I suppose?
      I’m curious to see how Carol Ann Lee will manage to render the times and hope it won’t read like a history book. Those are the worst.

  2. I will be honest that I approach this one with a foreboding. I have never read so many books by women in such a short time in my life. I hope this does not turn me into a metrosexual. Caroline, you will have to take credit (or blame) for broadening my horizons.

    • Welcome to the world of your shadow! Are you already cross dressing?
      I have a feeling you might like this book anyway.
      You know it goes the other way around too, I see many female bloggers say that they read much more books by women than by men, so it might be logical that you feel drawn to books by men.

      • I won’t have time to read it in English (Henry James requires A LOT of concentration) and you know my new rule…

        The French cover is less romantic. Generally speaking, English or American editions seem to have more romantic, romanesque, “aimed-at-woman” covers. I’m thinking of the Rebecca West, this one, the Post-mistress, one book on Max’s blog he said he would have hidden the cover in the tube if he hadn’t had the kindle version, the latest Huston I’ve read. Mièvre is the French word that comes to my mind.

        I like the English title, btw. I wonder why it wasn’t translated into French literally and why they chose La Rafale des tambours. There’s no link at all between the titles.

        • I know your new rule, yes. the English cover is typical for English WWI books. There are a few nonfiction books that have similar covers. It’s to show the change, I guess, clothes for women and the role of women in the society was changed through the war. And yes, it also romantic. The French edition emphasizes the war elements. The Winter of the World is an allusion either to a bok a peome or a collection. There is a collection with that title but I’m not sure it’s a recent or an original collection. I didn’t have the time yet to look into it properly.

  3. I’ve just barely started it and will be taking it with me to work this week (strange I get most of my reading done during my bus rides/breaks than I do at home!).

      • Well, it depends….sometimes there are (people talking on their cell phones in the seat in front of me….would rather not hear about people’s personal lives…), but I tend to ride at off peak times and it’s fairly quiet. Would prefer to read at home and in a quiet corner, but I don’t seem to be able to do that much lately.

        • Yes I guess it isn’t always quiet on the bus but you are less distracted than when the phone rings or you know you still have this and that to do or are tempted by a movie. On the other hand if you didn’t have to commute it would leave you with more time at home, I guess. I’m really glad I don’t commute.

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