Under the Yoke is a novel by Ivan Vazov written in 1888. It depicts the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria and is the most famous piece of classic Bulgarian literature. The tranquillity in a Bulgarian village under Ottoman rule is only superficial: the people are quietly preparing for an uprising. The plot follows the story of Boicho Ognyanov, who, having escaped from a prison in Diarbekir, returns to the Bulgarian town of Byala Cherkva to take part in the rebellion. There he meets old friends, enemies, and the love of his life. The plot portrays the personal drama of the characters, their emotions, mot... continue
Published in 1986, three years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wolf Hunt was the first novel to portray the human cost of Communist policies on Bulgarian villagers, forced by the government to abandon their land and traditional way of life. Darkly comic and tragic, the novel centers on an ill-fated winter hunting expedition of six neighbors whose history together is long and interwoven. The ensuing story takes the reader on a voyage of shifting perspectives that places the calamitous history of twentieth-century Bulgaria into a human context of helplessness and desperation.
Kapka Kassabova is a young Bulgarian émigré poet who writes in English but with a European imagination. Her well-travelled poems speak from different parts of the world and different moments of history, but they always speak of the many ways to be lost and disoriented: in a place, in the past, in fear, in love, in the very quickness of life. The voices speaking here - from a Roman housewife to a Chinese bar-owner in Berlin or an Argentine DJ - are the voices of the heart-sick, the culturally jet-lagged, people from photographs, the "tenants" of lives, cities and destinies. This is what we all ... continue
Collects stories inspired by the author's native Bulgaria, including the tales of a grandson who tries to buy Lenin's corpse on eBay for his grandfather and a boy who meets a cousin every five years on the river that divides their village.
Resembling the complex and fragmented way a fly's eye works, Natural Novel contains a myriad of storylines, reflections, and digressions, including a history of toilets and the graffiti found there, a meditation on the relationship between bees and language, and an attempt to write a book using only verbs. Incredibly funny at times, this novel is driven by the narrator's need to come to terms with his dissolving marriage and his wife's infidelity with their close friend. Gospodinov's first novel is both broad in scope and intensely personal, illustrating the impossibility of presenting life tr... continue
Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated as a girl twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies
"On the Edge of Reason is one of the great European novels of the first half of the twentieth century – and Krleza's themes, his seriousness, his protest against the normality of delusion and cruelty, could hardly be more relevant to the century's end." —Susan Sontag During his long and distinguished career, the Croatian writer Miroslav Krleza (1893-1981) battled against many forms of tyranny. In On the Edge of Reason, his protagonist is a middle-aged lawyer whose life and career have been eminently respectable and respected. One evening, at a party attended by the local elite, he inadvertentl... continue
"Who were they? Ordinary people like you or me—or monsters?” asks internationally acclaimed author Slavenka Drakulic as she sets out to understand the people behind the horrific crimes committed during the war that tore apart Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Drawing on firsthand observations of the trials, as well as on other sources, Drakulic portrays some of the individuals accused of murder, rape, torture, ordering executions, and more during one of the most brutal conflicts in Europe in the twentieth century, including former Serbian president Slobodan Miloševic; Radislav Krstic, the first to be s... continue