A Boy in Winter

  • Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS.

    Deft, spare and devastating, this extraordinary novel tells of the three days that follow and the lives that are overturned in the process.

    A Boy In Winter is a story of hope when all is lost, and of mercy when the times have none.

  • ‘They won’t take us today. Not today, that’s all,’ Miryam says.

    Ephraim nods. He has to. He thinks his stubborn wife is right; the Germans will still be looking, after all, for all of those still hidden. Their boys included.

    He turns away, leaning himself forward on their one trunk of belongings, and it eases the ache in his back a little, but does nothing for the ache inside him.

    How much longer?

  • ‘A writer of great delicacy and toughness.’
    - Ali Smith

  • Nominated for the Booker Prize in 2001; one of Granta's 'Best of Young British Novelists' in 2003; longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2007, 2014 and 2017; awarded the EM Forster Award in 2011 by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

  • 'Ms Seiffert’s prose is not showy, but graceful and precise... a gleam in the darkness that readers haven’t seen before.'
    - The Economist

  • 'Seiffert's writing is careful, deliberate, impressively honest.'
    - Irish Times

  • - Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018

  • - A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

  • - A Times Book of the Year 2017

  • Seiffert packs a great deal into a small amount of space. Her prose style resembles a cello onstage played in the pitch dark. Sonorous and somber and yet what use it makes of just a few notes.
    - Boston Globe

  • 'It is a story of hope and mercy in the darkest of times. Once started, it will be difficult to put it down.'
    - The Washington Book Review - editor's pick

  • 'This novel truly shines in its offering of diverse, authentic perspectives.... an accomplished literary work.'
    - Booklist

  • 'All the notes of the Holocaust song, including the rare ray of hope, are played in this spare, fast-moving novel.'
    - Kirkus Reviews

  • 'Seiffert is a master at creating tension and empathy.'
    - Observer

  • 'A spellbinding evocation of fear and threat, hope and change in wartime.'
    - Philippe Sands, author of East West Street

  • 'Rachel Seiffert is a prize-winning author, and it shows.  Her descriptions are succinct and brilliant. One day it may rank as a classic of the Wild East.'
    - Jewish Chronicle

  • A superb, delicately poised and deeply disturbing novel.'
    - FInancial Times

  • 'Seiffert’s cool tone never wavers, and her spare, beautiful prose is a joy to read.'
    - Helen Dunmore, The Guardian

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    • Saturday 30th June 2018 – Bradford Literary Festival

      What’s the Point of Fiction in a World Gone Mad? 4pm- 5.15pm

    • Sunday 29th April 2018 – ChipLitFest

      Chipping Norton Literary Festival, Rachel will deliver a creative writing workshop 13.00 -14.30 and present the festival’s short story award winners


    • Manchester 11th December

      Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester; reading and workshop

    • ‘Writers in Conversation’ Southampton, Mon 16th October

      University of Southampton, Nuffield Theatre

    • Melbourne Writers’ Festival, reading – Tues 29th August, masterclass – Thurs 31st August
    • Canberra Writers’ Festival, reading 26th August 2017
    • Sydney Jewish Writers’ Festival, reading 7.30pm, 26th August 2017
    • BBC News ‘Meet the Author’ interview with James Naughtie – broadcast date 1st & 3rd June
    • Free Thinking BBC Radio 3 – interview with RS

      interview 17th May 10pm; available on iPlayer afterwards

    • Bath Festival:

      Q&A with Philippe Sands Friday 26th May 8.30pm

    • Derby Festival:

      Sunday 11th June.

    • Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall: reading 10am, Sat 29th July
    • Edinburgh Festival

      Saturday 19th August, 10am, Spiegeltent, with Lars Mytting

    • Ilkley Festival:

      Saturday 7th October – reading and masterclass

    • Longlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize
    • ‘Superb’ Financial Times
    • ‘Remarkable’ Sunday Times
    • ‘Elegant…authentic’ New York Times
    • ‘Confirms Seiffert as one of the most intelligent and ethical writers of her generation’ Literary Review
    • Winner of the inaugural David TK Wong Award from PEN International
    • ‘A magnificnet collection: striking, moving and deeply thought-provoking’ Financial Times
    • ‘…all the leanness of Hemmingway’s short fiction… In Seiffert’s hands, the tale becomes a tense parable’ The New York Times Book Review
    • ‘Captivating’ Entertainment Weekly
    • Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2001
    • Winner, LA Times First Fiction Award 2002
    • Winner, Betty Trask Award 2002
    • ‘Ambitious and powerful’  New York Times
    • ‘Compelling… Challenging and substantial’ Time Out
    • ‘Provocative and accomplished’ The Times
    • Adapted into the acclaimed feature film Lore
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