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Georgi Gospodinov was born in Yambol, Bulgaria in 1968. He studied Bulgarian Philology at Sofia University. Since 1993 he has been the editor of the literary newspaper »Literaturen vestnik«. One year earlier he made his literary debut with the volume of poetry »Lapidarium« which was followed by »Chereshata na edin narod« (1996; t: The cherry tree of one people). For this book he was awarded the Prize for Best Book of the Year by the Bulgarian Writers' Union.
Gospodinov became particularly well known to an international audience with his first novel »Estestven roman« (1999; Eng. »Natural Novel«, 2005). It was translated into English, French, Czech, Macedonian, Slovenian, Croatian, and Serbian. The »New Yorker« described it as an »anarchic, experimental debut«, »The Times« as a »humorous, melancholy and highly idiosyncratic work«. According to »The Guardian«, it is »both earthy and intellectual«. The novel takes up the post-modern structuring principle reminiscent of Borges and Pessoa. The fragmented first person consists of several characters, amongst which are a failed author, an editor and a mad gardener. The background story is that of a man who leaves his wife because he »wasn’t the author of her pregnancy«. The main plot is interfused with multiple story lines, digressions and different levels of reflection loosely connected with one another. The fly is one of the subjects of the many literary »natural stories« within this book, the fly’s eye (which is made up of many different facets) acting as a symbolic metaphor of the narrative technique. »It is my immodest wish to create a novel of beginnings. A novel which continually begins, promises something, reaches page 17 and starts all over again. ... This novel of beginnings would describe nothing. It would only provide the initial impulse, move subtly into the shadows of the next beginning and leave the figures to interrelate exactly as they please. That is what I would call a natural novel.«
Gospodinov’s volume of short stories »I drugi istorii« (Eng. »And Other Stories«, 2007) appeared in 2001. It describes, sadly but comically, the mysteries of everyday life. In 2004 the book was published in German under the title »Gaustín oder Der Mensch mit den vielen Namen«. It was also translated into French and Czech. His latest literary work »Pisma do Gaustin« (2003; t: Letters to Gaustin), is a poetry collection mixed with prose pieces. In 2005 he published »Poezija i medija« (t: Poetry and media).
Recently Gospodinov has turned his interests towards the stage. The play »D.J.« (the initials of Don Juan) was performed at the Satirical Theatre in Sofia in 2004 and won the prize for Play of the Year. The East European film production »Lost and Found« – for which Gospodinov wrote the Bulgarian contribution’s screenplay, »The Ritual« – opened the International Forum of Young Cinema at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival. The author works at the Literature Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and is a columnist for »Dnevnik«, a daily newspaper.

Publications in English translations

Natural Novel. Translated by Zornitsa Hristova. Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Ill.
And Other Stories. Translated by Alexis Levitin and Magdalena Levy. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Ill.

Events by DAAD
Auswärtsspiel in Lissabon 2008 / Jogo Fora de Casa

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