Retranslating East of the West

Miroslav Penkov, author of East of the West:A Country in Stories, has a post on the official blog of The Story Prize about how when he first arrived in the US, in spite of telling friends he would wait to write in English until he felt comfortable with the language, he began submitting stories written in English instead his native Bulgarian.

“I am no reasonable man. I have no patience. The plan I speak of is a lie. Within the first month of my arrival, the week after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, I sent my first story to a science fiction contest.”

In this case the story was returned so he could print it on “one side of the page only,” but even then was rejected. He goes on to talk about the difference between how he wrote before he left Bulgaria (“stories set on the moon, in space, in imaginary towns with names like Mountain Springs and Ocean View”) and how his debut collection’s subject matter came to him in Arkansas. He also recounts his reaction to seeing the Bulgarian translation of his book and what he felt compelled to do.

Read the full post here …

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Categories: Writers

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