Charles Frazier was born in 1950 in Asheville, North Carolina and grew up in
the mountains of North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North
Carolina in 1973, received an M.A. from Appalachian State University, and
a Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina in 1986.
Cold Mountain, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, and won the National Book Award in 1997. It traces the journey of Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army - the story is based in part on Frazier's great-great-uncle , W. P. Inman. A movie adaptation was released in 2003.
His second novel, Thirteen Moons, was published in 2006, with an $8 million advance from his USA publisher.
He currently raises horses on a farm near Raleigh, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife, Catherine, who teaches accountancy, and their daughter Annie.
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An Interview with Charles Frazier, about Cold Mountain
It seems almost incredible that Cold Mountain is your first
novel. Have you ever tried writing fiction before--short stories, or incomplete
Like a lot of people, I tried to write some fiction when I was in my twenties--college age, just after that. It didn't work out so well. I wasn't happy with what I did; it was sort of pretentious and technically pretty weak. So I put that idea away and decided that I was going to be an academic and that I would study other people's writing rather than write myself. But when I got to be forty, I started wanting to write again for some reason, and found when I began doing it that what I was doing was very different from what I had done when I was twenty-five. I liked it better and was happier doing it, and it seemed to me to be worth doing, suddenly. I think as you get older you get a sense of what is important in life and what is significant enough to write about.
Turning to Cold Mountain: Who was the original Inman?
He was my great great uncle. And part of the character was based on my great grandfather. Both of them went to the Civil War--volunteered in the first few months of that war ...
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