Colibri Publishers' catalogue includes more than 1200 titles among which the most remarkable names in Bulgarian and world modern literature. We are pleased to state that there is a growing interest towards Bulgarian literature all over the world. Colibri Publishers’ catalogue encompasses some of the best examples of contemporary Bulgarian literature. Most of the authors are well known by the reading public and their works have been awarded prestigious awards in Bulgaria and abroad. The catalogue includes also a number of books in the field of history and psychology.
Translations and any additional information are available upon request. If you are interested in translation grants, you can apply for subsidies for translating Bulgarian works in your language here.
Katerina Hapsali graduated in economics and Spanish in the United States, then returned to Bulgaria. Since 2000 she has worked actively as a journalist, though she prefers the broader definition "a person of words" and it is hardly a coincidence that she's been preparing for her doctorate in philosophy now. Among her favorite media projects over the years are the radio show "Talk to her" (Darik Radio), and the magazine headings "Lie Detector" and "Women with History" (TEMA magazine). She is the first editor of "Harper's BAZAAR" magazine in Bulgaria. "Greek Coffee" is her first novel.
In March 2015, Greek coffee was nominated for "Helicon" 2015. This is the only Bulgarian award for high acchievements in all genres of fiction.
In May 2015, the novel was awarded second prize in the „Prose“ category of the 43rd edition of the Literature Days "Southern Spring" in Haskovo, Bulgaria, a traditional competition for debut books of all genres.
In June 2015, Greek coffee was nominated for the National Literature Prize "Elias Canetti" of Rousse Municipality, Bulgaria.
A fatal car crash with a Greek businessman capsized his young wife's life. She is a Bulgarian journalist. The raw truth surfaced. What follows is a bold entering into the depths of family history in which she (Katerina, the wife, the self-purifying woman) is looking for herself while wringing energy to deal with the pain...
This is just the plot framework of the novel "Greek coffee". Tangling autobiographical and fictional, historical and intimate, this storyline boldly dissolves the layers of time and looks at its faults concealing primary forces, old conflicts and stereotypes.
Maria Kassimova-Moisset studied Bulgarian Philology at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". Her career as a journalist began with the newspaper "Standard", where she wrote about theater, cinema and music. She was contributor to the daily newspapers "24 Hours," "SEGA" and "Democracy", and editor in chief of several magazines, such as "One", ELLE and "Capital LIGHT". Currently, she works as a freelancer for various media.
"Close Encounters with Mixed Feelings" is her first collection of stories, acclaimed by Bulgarian readers. "Balkan Rhapsody" is her debut novel.
The Balkan peninsula during the first decades of the last century - characters' fates meet in a world filled with religious taboos, superstitions, and petrified moral norms, between Albania's refugee roads, Kemal Ataturk's modern Turkey and Bulgaria, still unstable. Along with the dramatic storyline, pierced by pain but illuminated by the freedom of loving and being loved, a modern woman carries on her inner dialogue with her ancestors, in order to explain the emotional, ethical and personal decisions of those whose blood flows in her veins...
GEORGE TENEV is a writer, screenwriter and playwright. He is the author of the novels "Party House" (Best Bulgarian Novel of the Year of VIK Foundation, 2007), "Christo and the Free Love," "Mr. M" and the short story collection "Holy Light" (awarded a scholarship for translation of PEN American center).
“Alloying political sci-fi with striking eroticism, the stories in Holy Light depict a world of endless, wearying revolution and apocalypse.”
PEN Translation Fund, announcing Translation Grant Winner Angela Rodel
“Utterly fascinating. Irony is combined with sincerity, realism and expressive detail with fantasy and dream. There is something very bracing, strange, it has irony and a complete kind of hilarity and sincerity about it – I was very, very struck.”
Siri Hustvedt on “Returning from the Hague,” a story from Holy Light published in GRANTA online
Sonya Todorova was born in 1979 in Sofia, Bulgaria. She studied in a German language school and graduated from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia. After five years of academic research at the Vienna University of Technology, she was awarded a doctoral degree in Advanced Geodesy. All along, Sonya Todorova enjoyed writing short stories. Since 2010, she has been working as a freelance translator and is a contributing writer for the Bulgarian magazine “Jenata Dnes” (“The Woman of Today”).
Her first book, “A Concise and Practical Guide to Survival for Families with Small Children and Others in Sofia” (Colibri, 2015), is a humorous, yet sharp social study of present-day life in her hometown and was nominated for the Outstanding Cultural Achievement Award of Sofia Municipality. Her debut novel, “Adi Landau’s Pearls”, was published in March, 2016. It was nominated for the 2016 “Helikon” Book Award for New Bulgarian Prose and shortlisted for the 2016 “Peroto” Award for Contribution to the Bulgarian Literary Context.
The stories in her latest book, "The Unknown Human Images", lead the readers through the reality of everyday life while playing a sly game with their expectations.
This is the story of a pair of pearl earrings, narrated by several generations. Story that starts from the Jewish ghetto in Vienna, passes through magnificent Ringstrasse palaces, a small mountain village in the Alps, the war-torn Europe, the concentration camp called "Kaylaka" and the rural town of Ferdinand. History of women and men, Jewish merchants and Austrian nobility, soldiers of the German Reich and Bulgarian partisans, a Viennese boy and a Sofia girl. The beginning is in the distant past, and the end - in the near future.
This is a story of the relentless vortex of time that imperceptibly turns people into heroes or victims, and often in both heroes and victims. Reflection on the choice and freedom. This is the way of people who hope and fear, who run away and get together - and everything is so accidental, and actually never is... accidental.
Velina Minkoff was born in Sofia in 1974. She has a degree in English from UCLA with a track in Creative Writing – Fiction. She was a Bulgarian-language fellow at the annual Sozopol Fiction Seminars of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation (2014) and resident literary translator at Open Letter Books, USA (2016). Her debut novel The Red and Blue Report of the Green Ameba came out in French under the title Le Grand Leader Doit Venir Nous Voir (Actes Sud, 2018). She lives in Paris, where she teaches English, freelances as a translator and is currently working on her second novel and a new collection of short stories.
Is there such a thing as a green ameba? Sure there is, if we look through the multi-colored lense of an excellent student and active member of the socialist pioneer organization. And especially if the time is 1989 and the place – an international summer camp in North Korea. Alexandra, a 13-year-old Bulgarian, leaves for the DPRK with the assignment to keep a detailed diary and instructions to write a report about her stay. But why does the report come out red and blue? The answer is simple – in socialist Bulgaria, copying pencils were red on one end, blue on the other. The colors are indelible if mixed with water, but somehow manage to clash unmixably in the face of Bulgaria's opposing political affiliations. Alexandra comes home to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and her world will never be the same.
While majoring in English at UCLA, Velina Minkoff applied for the Creative Writing Fiction program. There, she studied with contemporary American writers Aimee Bender and Carolyn See, among others. There was considerable interest in her stories about Bulgaria. Her fictional series Iodine was published in four consecutive volumes of the Student Committee for the Arts publication Split Peas – Fiction and Photography; her story The Old Woman won the Harry Kurnitz Creative Writing Award for writers whose native language is not English. Her short story Voices was selected for the First Annual UCLA Day for the Arts, where the author read before an audience of almost 300 people.
Her first book, Red Shorts, is a collection of stories she wrote during the years she spent in UCLA creative writing workshops. Red Shorts, or short stories from communist times, is a collage of memories written down in the natural pattern of recollections. It is not a memoir or an autobiography. Its stories recount a passionate, almost subconscious search for explanations among snippets of childhood flashbacks. From deeply personal to ideological, from political to historical. Why were things the way they were? Was that how they were supposed to be? Memories can answer many questions.
Angel Raymond Wagenstein (born October 17, 1922) is a Bulgarian film director and author. Wagenstein was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, but spent his childhood in France where his Sephardic Jewish family emigrated for political reasons due to their leftist politics.
Angel Wagenstein returned to Bulgaria due to an amnesty, and as a student at a lyceum, where he joined an anti-fascist group. For his acts of sabotage, he was arrested and condemned to death in 1944, and it was the invasion of the Soviet Red Army that saved him from execution.
After completing a degree in 1950 in film screenwriting at the S. A. Gerasimov All-Union State Institute for Cinematography in Moscow, he worked as a screenplay writer for the Bulgarian Cinematography Center and for the DEFA Film Studio (the former East Germany Cinematography Center). He is an author of over fifty screenplays for films, documentaries and cartoons. He became famous with his movies about Bulgarian Communists, especially guerrillas.
His film Stars, shot in 1959 by the German director Konrad Wolf, was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
His fiction includes the triptych „Петокнижие Исааково” (Isaac's Torah), „Далеч от Толедо” (Far from Toledo) and „Сбогом, Шанхай” (Farewell, Shanghai), which have been published both separately and together not only in Bulgarian but also in French, German, Russian, English, Czech, Polish, Macedonian, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. Far from Toledo was awarded in 2002 the Alberto Benveniste annual prize of the Sorbonne, while his novel Farewell Shanghai received the Jean Monnet Prize of European literature in 2004. The French government awarded Angel Wagenstein the high distinction of Chevalier of the French Order of Merit, and later Chevalier of Arts and Literature. He is also the bearer of the highest Bulgarian distinction – the Stara Planina Order. In 2009 he was made honorary citizen of the city of Plovdiv.
Moving effortlessly from Paris to Dresden to Shanghai, Wagenstein (Isaac's Torah) masterfully chronicles the lives of European émigrés and refugees in WWII Shanghai. The cast of this ensemble novel is large. Elisabeth and Theodore Weissberg, a German mezzo-soprano and her German-Jewish virtuoso violinist husband, flee Dresden to eke out an existence in Shanghai's burgeoning Jewish ghetto, which ends up 30,000 strong as the Shoah begins. Hilde Braun, a German-Jewish actress, is living illegally in Paris aided by a mysterious Slav named Vladek, until events force them, separately, to Shanghai. Istvan Keleti, a homosexual Hungarian musician and drug-user, and Gertrude von Dammbach, a former call-girl-turned-baroness, are also among the persecuted and displaced, some of whom work with the Resistance to undermine Hitler. Wagenstein is impressive in his ability to move from the small details of individual displaced lives to a larger panorama of international intrigue: there's a telling subplot about tensions between the Japanese, who occupy Shanghai, and the Germans, with whom they've formed an uneasy alliance; another revealing thread concerns the loyalties of Chinese Catholic nuns. Wagenstein brings to life a largely unknown chapter of Nazi persecution.
The Bulgarian author and screenwriter Wagenstein devotes his powerful novel to an affable Jewish tailor from a small town in Eastern Europe who survives the reigns of Hitler and Stalin. Wagenstein himself escaped from a concentration camp and was saved from execution when the Soviets entered Bulgaria. Half a century later, he creates self-effacing narrator Isaac Jacob Blumenfeld, threading Jewish jokes throughout the narrative not only to sweeten the bitter material but also because they encapsulate the humanistic foundation of Isaac's philosophy. Isaac's town of Kolodetz in the Austro-Hungarian empire becomes part of Poland, then the U.S.S.R., before being overtaken by Nazi Germany and eventually reclaimed by the Soviets. He is drafted into military service by each of his first three motherlands. The Germans invade, and Isaac, posing as a Pole, is sent to a Nazi labor camp. Inadvertently revealing himself as a Jew, he ends up in a concentration camp, after which the liberating Soviets exile him to Siberia. Isaac's mesmerizing voice charms through every disaster, and engages and delights the reader without distracting from Wagenstein's profound insights into life's absurdities.
“He couldn’t care about politics, but unfortunately politics showed a growing interest in him.” Always there are the Yiddish jokes, even at the most hopeless times; in fact, in Wagenstein’s engaging historical novel, the wry humor reveals both the unbelievable horrors of history and fleeting moments of transcendence. Born in the Kolodetz shtetl when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War I, the novel’s narrator, Blumenfeld, becomes a citizen of five countries, without ever changing where he lives, except when he is moved to Nazi concentration camps and then to a Soviet labor camp. Beyond what he calls today’s “Holocaust blather” with its “air-conditioned and aromatic criteria and values” are the facts, including that his wife and children never returned from the camps. Can one man be a Jew and a Nazi war criminal and a Soviet traitor? The jokes that pepper the text make you read them aloud, as do the wise comments of the rabbi who teaches Blumenfeld that meaning is in the searching and not in the finding. Great for reading groups. --Hazel Rochman
Far from Toledo is part two of Angel Wagenstein's triptych on the fate of European Jews during World War II. Apart from Bulgaria the book has been published both separately and together in Germany, France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Poland, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Israel. “Far from Toledo” was awarded in 2002 the Alberto Benveniste annual prize of the Sorbonne and the Annual Award of the Union of Bulgarian Writers for best novel. The book is a saga of love, hope and tolerance, stronger and more lasting than any political passions, cheerful and sad at the same time, unfolding against the motley ethnic backdrop of the old city of Plovdiv.
On the grounds of "Far from Toledo" was made a feature film named “After the End of the World”.
Alexander Shpatov was born in Sofia in 1985. He graduated from the American College and Law faculty at Sofia University "St.. Kliment Ohridski ". He is the author of several short story collections: "Footnotes" (2005, "Southern Spring" Prize for Best first book of the year), "Footnote stories" (2008, nominated for "Helicon" Award and issued in Germany in 2010) and "Calendar of stories" (2011).
Twentieth-century masters of the short story – Yovkov, Elin Pelin, Radichkov – perfectly captured the spirit and voice of rural Bulgaria; as their twenty-first century heir, Alexander Shpatov offers a brilliant take on urban Bulgaria, told in the unmistakable inflection of a hardcore Sofia native. #livefromsofia brings to life not idyllic villages and pastures, but looming monuments and underground labyrinths, back alleys and main boulevards, gray panel-block apartment complexes, as well as the hoodie-bedecked kids loitering around their entrances. With these stories, Shpatov helps all of us Sofiaphiles put our finger on why we love this strange and contradictory place and experience the 2.0 version of this city as never before.
Angela Rodel, translator
A sense of a city, a clever cartography via new languages and networks – this is what Alexander Shpatov’s stories draw us into. The best of them, such as “Yellow Brick Road,” “Panel-Block Church,” “Wise Men from the East Take OK Supertrans” and others easily mix fiction with reality, urban legends with new reports, they move past Five Corners, the National Theater, Youth II… The city, of course, is Sofia. As we would like to read it. A city with stories. And with legends.
Georgi Gospodinov, author of "Natural Novel"
Dimana Trankova (b. 1980) is an archaeologist by education and a journalist by vocation. She has authored over a thousand articles on travel, politics, history and archaeology in her native Bulgaria. She is the co-author of several bestselling non-fiction books such as “East of Constantinople/Travels in Unknown Turkey” (2008), “A Guide to Jewish Bulgaria” (2011), “A Guide to Ottoman Bulgaria” (2011, 2012), “The Turks of Bulgaria” (2012) and “Hidden Treasures of Bulgaria, Vol. 2” (2014). She has been the executive editor of “Highflights,” Bulgaria’s English-Bulgarian travel magazines, and of “Go Greece!,” Bulgaria’s magazine about Greece. “The Smile of the Dog" (Colibri, 2014) is her first novel.
An American journalist and his young ex-pat Bulgarian wife arrive in Bulgaria to spend a few weeks with the parents-in-law. As John struggles to come to grips with the least known land in Europe, a series of gruesome murders of historians, all perpetrated at ancient rock shrines, appear on the national news. While his wife’s enthusiasm for get-togethers with friends and family fades and she realises that her home country has changed beyond recognition, the bored John employs Maya, an archaeologist-cum-journalist, to take him around the murder scenes and explain the background. Fuelled by a growing attraction, they travel across an enchanted and cursed country scarred not only by the stone shrines and rituals of an ancient civilisation, but also by the traumatic fall-out at the end of the Communist regime and its enduring legacy of secrets and lies.
Soon the two journalists become entangled in a recklessly dangerous investigation of the sadistic assassinations where long-forgotten Thracian blood rituals, small and big time treasure hunters, cosmology, a sinister secret sect of young self-styled ‘Thracians’, and Mircea Eliade’s theories of the cyclical nature of time play out against the backdrop of a post-totalitarian society. Nothing is what it seems. John and Maya begin to discover that the only thing more dangerous than a serial killer set loose is the Bulgarian Mafia state of the 2010s.
As the ring of murders tightens around John and Maya and they become obsessed with the uncovering of ancient rituals, he realises that he is torn between staying with Maya and returning to the US with his unhappy and dependent wife. Meanwhile, the free-spirited but vulnerable Maya must stay behind and face the consequences of their actions.
This is an edgy, richly atmospheric, brilliantly conceived and elegantly written literary thriller, which masterfully weaves archaeology, philosophy, organised crime, the moral chaos of post-Communist Europe, and doomed love.
The book is written by the prominent Bulgarian historian Ivan Ilchev. He has lectured in Ohio State University, Wilson Center in Washington D.C., the University of Chiba, Japan, the universities of Leipzig, Thessaloniki, Oxford, Chicago and many other famous educational centres.
Ivan Ilchev was born on 25th of June 1953 in Sofia. He is a full professor in Modern Balkan History at the Sofia University. He teaches modern history of the Balkans (18th-20th centuries), social history of the Balkans, history of Bulgaria, international relations in the Balkans, theory and history of propaganda, history of advertising in Bulgaria, history and theory of nationalism in the Balkans.
At the beginning of November 2007, professor Ilchev was elected rector of the Sofia University. He is a corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences as well.
Ivan Ilchev was a member of the Supreme Certifying Commission (1997-2002), Dean of the Faculty of History at the Sofia University and Chairman of the Scientific Board of the Faculty of History.
He has published thirteen books, two of them in co-authorship with other academics. The Rose of the Balkans is among the most renowned of them.
A concise history of Bulgaria for those visitors to the country who would like to learn more about its people and history. The book is a real mine of information, represented clearly, rich in illustrations and tables revealing the parallel events in the western world.
The Rose of the Balkans is not an academic work. Its aim is to present to the public a contemporary version of Bulgarian history in the light of recent analyses and reflections of historians from the Balkans, Bulgaria and abroad.
It notifies the travelers of the origins of the country and gives them knowledge of the most recent events, so that they will find sufficiently broad outlines. At the same time it prunes supernumerary details and final judgments.
Foreign countries’ attitude to Bulgaria is usually based on the knowledge of our own history. We therefore sought to situate events of Bulgarian history in the context of the Francophone countries. The reader will observe strike reports, similarities or coincidences between the processes that took place simultaneously at both ends of Europe.
To avoid the risk of bias, we referred to the evidence of French observers, who have got information about the original aspects of the country, the character and customs of its inhabitants.
The book is published in French with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of France in Bulgaria and the French Institute.
Milena Rodriguez is a respected consultant in the field of successful relationships. She holds degrees in journalism and psychology. She gives lectures and provides consulting services to help people build happy relationships at home and at work. Her skillful approach encourages many people to work on establishing a better exchange with those important to them.
When it comes to LOVE, we are faced with a multitude of questions. The answers are different for everyone. One thing is for sure - love is not luck or a fortunate circumstance. It is not a gift of fate.
According to Milena Rodriguez, we are the ones responsible for our self-confidence. It is up to us to be admired and appreciated by members of the opposite sex, by our loved ones and our colleagues. Living happy, fulfilling lives depends on ourselves.
If you have recently broken up with a partner or are experiencing a crisis, this book will help you through it. Milena Rodriguez provides the answers you have been looking for. Her unusual psychological techniques and exercises help us shed the excess emotional baggage we carry in our psyche without even realizing it. The author offers a fresh look at this beautiful feeling called LOVE. Milena Rodriguez is a respected consultant in the field of successful relationships. She holds degrees in journalism and psychology. She gives lectures and provides consulting services to help people build happy relationships at home and at work. Her skillful approach encourages many people to work on establishing a better exchange with those important to them.
Nataliya Kobylkina is a famous and successful coach, psychologist, writer, sexologist and family therapist.
Nataliya teaches more than 12 years and leads seminars in London, Italy, USA, Japan, Brasil, Bulgaria and other countries.
Her seminars are attended by more than 50 000 people, whom she helped find their happiness.
She is an author of 6 books about relationships and sexology, each one of them becoming a bestseller sold in thousands of copies all over the world.
Nataliya has been working in media more than 6 years and has her own show. Her advices on Internet and TV have helped more than 2 000 000 people.
She is a founder of “Нappy woman” Academy, employer of 50 coaches, leading seminars, consultations and webinars all over the world.
Nataliya often works with stars, famous politicians and successful businessmen. She is happily married for more than 11 years.
Which are the features that define femininity? Where does our inability to receive stem from? Does profound change always come with extreme pain? Is there a formula for lasting harmony and happiness in a relationship?
The author discusses with a lot of love, understanding and respect for the reader universal problems of the contemporary couple and the modern woman. The book includes various exercises and techniques for visualization and meditation that will help you find the way to your feminine essence and feel more self-confident, serene and strong.
The attached interviews and the test for diagnosing and developing of archetypes come as a special bonus for Nataliya Kobylkina’s loyal fans.
“Only when you feel satisfied and accomplished as a person, you can create an adequate relationship where both partners are of equal value. If your own opinion of yourself is low, you are constantly haunted by the suspicion that people confirm it, even if they do not”, Nataliya Kobylkina persuades us in this fresh and inspiring book of psychotherapy.
The Bulgarian writer Rositsa Tasheva has three books to her credit and they have already established her as one of the most talented humorists in the country. She was born in Sofia, where she graduated from an English Language High School and then – from the French Philology Department at Sofia University. She has been on the staff of the “Sofia Press” Agency, the French Embassy in Sofia and the Bulgarian Embassy in Paris. Presently she is working as an editor at the Colibri publishing house.
After her experience in Paris she wrote the book “Of Diplomats and Men” (1998) in which the life of Bulgarian diplomats during the first years of democracy is described with a subtle sense of humour. Actually diplomats from many countries have recognized their mirror-images in it. Her next book – “Domestic Apocalypse” (2000) – is a story about the everyday life of a typical and also untypical, but definitely weird family. The book enjoyed enormous success and raised many sincere laughs from readers who have shared the same silly scenes and situations of domestic apocalypse. The novel “As for the Highlander” (2010) describes with a smile and sympathy one year in the life of a painter suffering from a lifelong crisis – looser with a heart of gold and a knack for easy living.
Rositsa Tasheva is one of the best Bulgarian translators from the French. More than 50 books of Balzac, Maupassant, Flaubert, Céline, Albert Cohen, San Antonio, Jean Jeunet, Kundera, Cioran and many others have appeared under her translating pen. She has been given The Prize of the Union of Translators in Bulgaria three times – in 1985, 1996 and 2006.
In this novel Rositsa Tasheva remains loyal to her attachment to the subtle smile, to the irony and when necessary – the open sarcasm. The main character of this novel is a charming loser who has strange conceptions about life and living. He always has various plans but never accomplishes them. Everybody calls him Highlander. Highlander is the nickname of a painter who stopped painting 20 years ago. Apart from not painting, he manages to carry out several other things in his life: he gets married, he seeks a suitable job, he dreams of words, he haunts his favourite pubs and tries to sell a painting. Otherwise he needs nothing, but money and love.
Benny, the journalist, who is also a linguist and Bulgarophobe, Sonya, the pharmacologist, who also paints on silken scarves, Stephen the Social and his prehistoric car, Dr. Pesheva and her stingy husband all march along with the Highlander through the book’s pages. There is also an academic, a professor, a flying cat, a sailing dog, a teenage girl and a student as well as prime-ministers, members of parliament, politicians, cops and all kinds of fauna to complete the picture of present-day Bulgaria. This mixture is described with the inherent for the author elegant sense of humour, well known by the reading public from her first two books and highly appreciated by all, whom cherish a hearty laugh.
In this book with a title borrowed from both Shakespeare and Steinbeck the reader meets the officials of the Bulgarian Embassy in Paris at the time of the great political changes in Eastern Europe which gave birth to democracy and many absurdities. From the ambassador himself down to the counsellors, the attaches, second assistants and the cook, all have been portrayed and, as Rositsa Tasheva says, if someone has been ignored by chance, he should consider himself lucky. The truly ridiculous situations in which the characters appear, the funny stories told with an elegant sense of humour and an indulgent smile align the book among the best examples of comic writing.
They call the author the Bulgarian Woodehouse and compare her also with Jerome K. Jerome and Pierre Daninos, while “Of Diplomats and Men” is labelled as “the funniest text written in Bulgarian”. Her book received immediate praise and acknowledgement and has been reissued several times.
Izabela Shopova (born 1971 in Varna) is a Bulgarian writer, now living and writing in Australia.
A child prodigy, she learned to read at age of 4, graduated from high school at 15, played piano and dreamed of conquering space. She was a professional model and an amateur astronomer; worked in a radio station but never planned to write on her own... She graduated from the local technical university, with major in radio engineering and then stepped in a completely different direction by establishing a career in business.
In 2002 she moved to New Zealand together with her husband and daughter. She wrote her first letter from the “Land of the Long White Cloud”, which became an instant hit back in Bulgaria. It was published by numerous websites, newspapers and travel magazines. She went on writing about first hand experiences and second hand memories, thus bringing together parallel cultures and histories… Some of her travelogues won awards in travel writing./ide.li; okolosveta.com/ Gradually, much to her own surprise, she emerged as a professional writer. She put together a collection of her writings – a fascinating amalgam of episodes from the everyday life of an immigrant and the amazing adventures of a tourist… Her first published book “East - in Eden” surpassed the success of her Internet publications and gave the readers a legitimate reason to call her “The Bulgarian Bill Bryson”.
Izabela Shopova lives now in Brisbane, Australia; she still writes for the electronic media and Bulgarian travel magazines and works on her second book about her family adventures in Aussie-Land.
Such is the place the author of these compelling travel notes lives in (she also wrote “East - in Eden” as you remember). The Eden which is found to the east of everything was New Zealand. And to the west of Eden Australia stretches – the new Izabela Shopova’s place of abode. Being a traveller, an adventurer and, it is safe to say, a writer, Izabela describes the largest country and the world's smallest continent with the erudition of a historian, geographer, biologist, botanist, ornithologist, arachnologist, entomologist… and with the pen of a literary man envied by everyone who’s fond of writing.
“East - in Eden” is a book written with a vivid language and enormous pleasure. Reading it could be a real amusement. The fans of Izabela, who already have read her letters on the Web, are well acquainted with her writing. Those, who are reading her work for a first time, will find in this text everything they need to know about New Zealand, expanded with a great collection of photos.
“East – in Eden” is not a novel, a travel diary, or an autobiography; it’s not a letter or a recipe collection; it is a little bit all of that and something more... A new type of literature, which holds no regard for any specific form or genre, but captivates with its honesty, freshness, extreme palettes and smashing sense of humour. A book painted with colour, and sprinkled with joy, it is impossible to put it down until the last page. It tells a story of a woman with many hats – a wife, a mother, a job applicant and an avid reader, a person with mundane responsibilities and intellectual curiosity. It exhibits the countless obstacles on the road to immigration and the exotic adventures of the newcomer; the adaptation challenges, the culinary shock - the little things from everyday life in a foreign country and the huge panoramic revelations of the local landscape - all lived through within six unforgettable years in “The Land of Rain”, “The Last Earthly Heaven”, “The Most Amazingly Beautiful Hell”, the far away, exotic and still unknown “Terra Incognita”.
A tale, sometimes joyous, sometimes sad, sometimes hysterical and shocking, other times ordinary and informative; but at all times - exceptional, honest, funny and provocative. Three hundred and fifty pages filled with intelligent entertainment, interesting knowledge and the healing love for a newfound home in New Zealand.
Andrey Velkov was born in 1977 in Sofia. After he graduated in Polithology from the Sofia University, he got a master’s degree in Marketing at the University of National and World Economy. In addition, he studied Street Law at the Great University of Life.
Andrey Velkov is a professional hedonist interested in extreme parties, martial arts, quantum physics, literature, heavy drinking, girls of ease, acrobatic ornithology and zen buddhism.
He’d been seen for the last time in his summer residence in the town of Mordor.
As a sequel to "Bulgarian Psycho", "The Chronicles of the Unit" develops some characters in the first novel. Again the place of action is Bulgaria and the plot overflows with battle stories, action scenes and schemes. The book is addressed to the fans of "Velkov" style and it answers many questions raised in the "Bulgarian Psycho".
Peter is a very ordinary kind of boy “living in the streets”. He’s a smart and ambitious youngster who believes that after being discharged he would lead a normal and peaceful life – education, work, career, money, family, children…
It turns out, however, that he hadn’t hit the time and place for such plans. There is no use of education anymore and no matter how well you do your job you pick up a scanty livelihood. So Peter stops playing by the rules and becomes a daunting underworld boss…
Bulgarian writer and poet Kristin Dimitrova was born in 1963 in Sofia. Graduated in English and American Studies from the Sofia University, she now works as an assistant professor at the Department of Foreign Languages. In the period 2004-2006 she was an editor of Art Trud, the weekly supplement for arts and culture of the Trud Daily. Between Sept. 2007 and Jan. 2008 she was a columnist for the Klasa Daily.
In 2008 she was awarded Hristo G. Danov, the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and Municipality of Plovdiv Award (fiction category), for Sabazius.
…Sabazius – the foreigner, the liberator, the blood-thirsty fiend, the drunkard, the liar, the debaucher, the ascetic, the handsome one, the mad and unacknowledged god – came late on Olympus, although he was more ancient than the ancient ones. Son of Zeus and mortal Semele, he had a hard time proving himself worthy of the pantheon of the superhumans. And he did it in an inhuman way.
Sabazius, also known as Dionysus, Bacchus or Zagreus, was a Thracian. He was a foreigner on Olympus and this was obvious for another reason as well. The Greek gods could do anything but die. Sabazius, however, knew death. That is why they called him also “Dithyrambos”, meaning “he of the double door”, “Eleutherios” – “the liberator” and “the twice-born”, because he was the only one who had managed to return from the dead.
The truth is that before him Osiris, the Egyptian, was torn to pieces by his enemy Seth and fallen captive to death. Then, after Isis put him together piece by piece, he was reborn to triumph. Many assert that in Thrace he was known as Sabazius. If this is true, it would turn out that the son of mortal Semele was older than his father Zeus. There is another Thracian who claims Osiris’s legacy, and perhaps that is why he rarely shares the same myth with Sabazius. For this would be the same as putting a man and his shadow together and then wondering who is who.
Sabazius – the god of happiness, pain and absurdity – is also the patron of drama, agriculture and civilization. His symbols are the ivy, leopard, wine, serpent, bull and the phallus. And if any of these pop up in conversations or real events, it means that Sabazius is not far behind…
Janina Dragostinova, was born on March 8, 1962 in Varna. After graduating from a German language High School, she obtains a diploma in German philology in the Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”. She also studied film criticism at the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts and Cinematography “Krustyo Sarafov”. She has worked as a journalist for many Bulgarian newspapers, for the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Berlin and for the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency. She has received numerous journalistic awards in Bulgaria and abroad. She has translated several books from German, including “The Anarchy of the Imagination” by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, “Journey to Trulala” by Vladimir Kaminer and many others.
After “Your Story”, without hesitation, the author steps through the boundary of journalism with the book “My Story”. In a way a continuation, it presents us with a series of “instant photos” of our most recent history. Without any pathos, she looks self-ironically for the place in it of the ordinary person, the one who obviously is not up to speed with the current events, but if not their engine, he is at least a participant in them and surely a biographer of his own destiny.
In the center of our attention is the story - an echo from the politics and hatred of the day, but also the story - personal, yours, mine, hers, everybody’s, stretched between the pathos-filled poems of Vazov and the anecdotes for the American, the French and the Bulgarian. Between the sizzling of fried meat balls and the drums of military marches. Drown in cheerless self-regret or dancing until there is no tomorrow. Where is Bulgaria?
A look from inside at ourselves, not always pleasing, but with good intentions, that wants to capture the image of the Bulgarian, through the eyes of the author, a moment before “becoming European”.
Some memorable quotes from the book:
I leave the old man and sink into grey Bulgaria - the one in which white money is becoming rare and black days more frequent. Bulgaria in which fathers have not been able to teach their sons to take care of them when they are old, and the phrase “Take it easy, dad” is part of a living nightmare.”
From chapter “Take It Easy, Dad” which is the story of an old man who lost his criminal son in a shooting (p. 180).
How can I say it, boys. To live in Bulgaria is part of the injustice in the world. But if everything is just, there will be no equilibrium in the world, right? If I didn’t stay in Bulgaria, I would not be what I am now.”
From chapter “The Benefit of Injustice in the World” when the author talks to German friends in Berlin (p. 220).
To come here [in Vienna], I decided right away. Now I can’t make up my mind to leave. My angels are weak. I got used to this situation - not entirely here, not entirely there. But to tell you the truth, I don’t know how it was back then, but now it’s not easy to be Mozart.”
From chapter “It’s Not Easy to be Mozart” where a young Bulgarian went to Vienna to look for his old girlfriend, but ended up dressed as Mozart, selling concert tickets on the street, in the cold winter (p. 244).
Maybe we are not living well here, but we hope that one day we’ll be OK. Slowly life gets better. In Bulgaria time just goes by and nothing happens. ”
From chapter “Once the European Union Comes…” where in Vienna, on Christmas night the author talks to Bulgarians living and working there (p. 250).
Ivaylo Borisov is a strange cross breed – writer-designer-entrepreneur-inventor-businessman. At the age of 33, he doggedly refuses to take the world around seriously and the only answer he can give to the psychological question “Where will you be in 5 years?” is “Getting better”. He travels the world looking for an appropriate place to migrate to, because he doesn`t accept many of the forms of societal control and governance at the places he`s been to and most of all – in his motherland. He is moved by inexplicable things such as cartoon characters and the mentioning of “space” and “universe” makes him pricking. He loves meditating but sometimes this is not enough to subdue the rising fury for everything that is wrong. Though, he would never wear Superman`s costume and save the world because he is too much egocentric. His first steps in the serious writing dates back to him being 8 years old when he began two screenplays simultaneously. During the years his pen became sharper and sharper and his public writing appearances got numerous and had different shapes. Apart from the dozens of creative briefs for clients, he writes for a number of lifestyle magazines during the years and if someone arranges all the internet publications symbols one after another, a series will appear that can go beyond the Moon. The idea for writing a book comes to his mind 7 years ago while he was writing two screenplays but as everything that has touched his chaotic self, three separate plots are formed and they serve for a basis of three separate novels. The first completed is "01".
01 - Bulgaria – a country with thousands of years of history, mother of the Cyrillic alphabet, the computer and the yoghurt; the country of the roses, vast mountains, clean beaches, beautiful women and cheap liquor. If you, as well, live with this idyllic picture in mind, it is better to watch Bulgaria only in pictures and the commercials, and, under no circumstances, go there. Otherwise, you will find out that Bulgaria is actually the country of the bumpy roads, corrupted authorities, deluded young people, rough neo-capitalism, petty problems, cynicism reaching up to aggression, bad services and the feeling of pride of all that. “01. Improper Novel” brings to the light everything that the Bulgarian is afraid to be seen by the foreigners so as not to prevent the next bargain with an overpriced, collapsing house built on an illegal property. The book has no pity on all the typical complexes and moral problems of the contemporary Bulgarian society. It is rudely rummaging in the running wound of the degradation having resulted form the socialism and, later, the Perestroyka.
Eagerly expected by the group of faithful fans which was attracted during the years by the unusual writing style of the author, 01 caused a stir even before it was issued and after its release it became one of the best selling books keeping its place in the top three of the biggest book stores in Bulgaria. Together with that, it acquires the status of the most scandalous and discussed book stirring up everyone as well as the opinions of different societal layers throughout the country, some of them not happy at all with the description attributed to them in it. 01 can boast with enthusiastic reviews and exceedingly high evaluation in the social networks for literature such as Goodreads.