Four Soldiers

(Author) (Translator)
Product Details
$19.99  $18.59
New Press
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.6 X 0.7 inches | 0.55 pounds
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About the Author
Hubert Mingarelli is the author of numerous novels and short story collections, as well as fiction for young adults. His novel A Meal in Winter was shortlisted for the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and was selected by Indies Introduce in the United States. He lives in Grenoble. Sam Taylor (translator) is an acclaimed translator and novelist who lives in Texas. His translations include A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli (The New Press), Special Envoy by Jean Echenoz (The New Press), The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf, and the award-winning HHhH by Lauren Binet.

Praise for Four Soldiers

Longlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize

"Most movingly, it sketches the poignantly fragile friendships they develop in the shadow of so much death. . . . Its simplicity lends it grandeur. One thinks of Maxim Gorky, or even the early sketches of Tolstoy."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Four Soldiers is no hectic and chaotic war novel. It unfolds in short, tightly focused chapters, and in spare, crystalline prose (beautifully translated by Sam Taylor). . . . The last electrifying pages resemble one of the more violent stories from Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry. To say more would be to spoil all. Suffice to say that Mingarelli manages to salvage tenderness from tragedy, leaving us with a poignant twist and a lasting impression--not to mention an acute reminder that these are not valiant, worldly men marching into battle but petrified, inexperienced boys."
--Malcolm Forbes, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Ian McEwan is a fan of French writer Hubert Mingarelli's previous novel; this new one bears Hilary Mantel's seal of approval. It's a simple story about simple pleasures--the smell of woodsmoke, a newly washed blanket, a secret shared. But these everyday moments of happiness are hardened into bright and priceless diamonds by the pressure of the circumstances that surround them: the horror and misery of the Russian Civil War. . . . A tale that can easily be read in a sitting."
--Daily Mail (UK)

"This short, spare story of friendship between young soldiers is beautifully evoked and deeply touching. . . . In the most simple, unshowy prose Mingarelli illustrates the power of small shared moments between pawns of war whose youth should have seen them making happy plans, still optimistic and full of brio. Brief flashes of warmth and humour light their blackening sky like shooting stars, eventually fizzing out to leave them engulfed in darkness again. Hilary Mantel called this book 'a small miracle'; days after reading it, I would agree."
--The Big Issue (UK)

"Profound and affecting. . . . A captivating study of companionship and loyalty among men in combat."
--The National (Scotland)

"Spare, matter-of-fact and masterfully controlled."
--Kirkus Reviews

"I am astonished by Four Soldiers. I have never read anything like it, yet it is one of those books you feel must always have existed, a classic of writing about the human condition. Short and deceptively simple, it reads like a message from the unheard, news from unwitnessed lives, building letter by letter to its crushing final page. A small miracle of a book, perfectly imagined and perfectly achieved."
--Hilary Mantel, author of Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies

Praise for Hubert Mingarelli's A Meal in Winter
"The book's deceptive directness and simplicity, and its muted undercurrents of horror, will make many think of the stories of Ernest Hemingway. This is painful, unconsoling reading, but also a reminder of the power a short, perfect work of fiction can wield."
--Wall Street Journal

"Stark and profound."
--New York Times

"Fine reading, not just for those interested in the war."
--Library Journal

"The command of tone and voice sustains tension until the very last page of a novel that will long resonate in the reader's conscience."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Masterful. . . . Mingarelli offers a new twist on the Holocaust novel. His spare prose, crisply translated by Sam Taylor, adds to the narrative's intensity and keeps you turning the pages until its poignant conclusion."
--The Huffington Post

"It is 138 profound pages of horror and humanity."
--Book of the Year, the Irish Times

"Short, powerful, vivid, and utterly compelling."
--The Jewish Chronicle

"Haunting. . . . With devastating concision, Mingarelli and his translator, Sam Taylor, carry the moral dilemma to an understated yet stunning conclusion."
--Publishers Weekly (starred)

"A luminous tale. . . . The most moving book I have read for a long time."
--The Independent on Sunday

"A masterpiece."
--The Independent

"This strong and simple story packs a mighty punch."
--The Times (London)

"Beautiful and disturbing, complex and surprising. . . . This is not easy for the reader to handle, but Mingarelli knows what he is doing."
--The Herald (Glasgow)