“In Bulgaria during the height of communism in the 1960s, six-year-old Manda survives her cruel grandmother and rural poverty by finding sheer delight in the world — plump vegetables, garden gnomes, and darkened attic corners. The young Manda endures severe beatings, seemingly indestructible. But as a middle-aged artist in newly democratic Bulgaria, she desperately tries to feed her damaged soul.
Nine Rabbits was a bestselling title in Bulgaria when it was released in 2008. As with Black Balloon’s spring 2013 title, Our Man in Iraq, Nine Rabbits is an exceptional English language translation of literary fiction from an underrepresented country. Literary critics have labeled Zaharieva a brilliant representative of Bulgarian ecriture feminine.”
About Everything Happens as it Does:
“Albena Stambolova’s idiosyncratic debut novel, Everything Happens as It Does, builds from the idea that, as the title suggests, everything happens exactly the way it must. In this case, the seven characters of the novel — from Boris, a young boy who is only at peace when he’s around bees, to Philip and Maria and their twins—each play a specific role in the lives of the others, binding them all together into a strange, yet logical, knot. As characters are picked up, explored, and then swept aside, the novel’s beguiling structure becomes apparent, forcing the reader to pay attention to the patterns created by this accumulation of events and relationships. This is not a novel of reaching moral high ground; this is not a book about resolving relationships; this is a story whose mysteries are mysteries for a reason.”