“It all began with a rather unusual encounter in a first-class compartment of the Belgrade-Skopje express train.”
So begins Aleksandar Prokopiev’s short story “Papradishki” translated from the Macedonian by Will Firth. But from the beginning, which could be the opening chapter of a detective novel with references to Hercule Poirot and Maigret, the story enters into other worlds altogether.
The story is part of Prokopiev’s collection Homunculus, just about to be published in paperback by Istros Books, a collection that shows a remarkable diversity – from fairy tales to communist-era autobiography to surreal shorts to stories entering into Macedonian life and legend.
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Photo – “A Very Orthodox Devil” by Dimitar Andonov