In the High Peaks

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bulgarian Fiction for 2016

Thomas at his MyTwostotinki blog has announced a Bulgarian Literature Month for this coming June 2016. I have never read a novel by a Bulgarian writer, so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to do so. Bulgaria is overshadowed by the more ostentatious nation-states that lie around it. So, I did a little research, and I ordered a book that won the Bulgarian Book Award (not sure the year it won, although the book was first published in 2008). The book is Eighteen Percent Gray by Zachary Karabashliev. It does sound like a zany romp.

An excerpt from the Publishers Weekly brief review reads, "Karabashliev, the eponymous main character of Karabashliev’s debut novel, is experiencing a major life crisis. Once a passionate photographer, Zack moved with his wife Stella to the United States from Bulgaria, the author’s native home, to attend graduate school. After running out of money, Zack sells his camera equipment and lies to get a job at a pharmaceutical company in Southern California. Just as Stella’s painting career takes off, she abruptly leaves, fed up with Zack’s conforming to middle-class life..." [Yes, this is a novel, not a memoir.]

Thank goodness Open Source Books at the University of Rochester in New York has published a translation, and I am now waiting for my copy to arrive. Mind you, I am not waiting until June to read it. This year has so many variables in the air that I need to read it this winter and write my thoughts about it before anything else happens.

I have met so many Eastern European and Balkan young people while living in the Adirondacks. Many come to work in the hotels, restaurants, and other aspects of the tourist trade here during the summers. I find them and their stories fascinating.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Judith - for your interest and for spreading the word regarding the upcoming Bulgarian Lit Month! I am quite sure you will like 18% Gray - and Open Letter Books have more interesting books by Bulgarian authors...Looking forward to your impressions and review!