Delicate and brutal, this understated and very human little novel illuminates the unexamined lives of simple people swept up in a tragedy. Three German reservists, hoping to escape the executions they are asked to perform, head into the desolate Polish countryside in search of new prisoners - and end up faced with a moral quandary far more tangled than the one they were running from.
— From Sam
One morning in the dead of winter, during the darkest years of World War II, three German soldiers head out into the frozen Polish countryside. They have been charged by their commanders with tracking down and bringing back for execution "one of them"--a Jew. Having flushed out a young man hiding in the woods, they decide to rest in an abandoned house before continuing their journey back to the camp. As they prepare food, they are joined by a passing Pole whose virulent anti-Semitism adds tension to an already charged atmosphere. Before long, the group's sympathies begin to splinter when each man is forced to confront his own conscience as the moral implications of their murderous mission become clear. Called "masterly and necessary" by the Times Literary Supplement, A Meal in Winter recalls the claustrophobia of Roman Polanski's The Pianist and Louis Begley's Wartime Lies. A sleeper hit in the United Kingdom, this is the first novel by the award-winning French novelist Hubert Mingarelli to be translated into English.
About the Author
Hubert Mingarelli's books include Quatre soldats (Four Soldiers), which won the Prix de Médicis. He lives in Grenoble. Sam Taylor is a translator, novelist, and journalist. His translated works include Laurent Binet's award-winning HHhH. His own novels have been translated into ten languages.