Sofia University rector wins the Bulgarian Novel of the Year Prize.
The book Amazonkata na Varoe (Varoe’s Amazon) by Prof. Boyan Biolchev, is the third Vick Prize Winner awarded by the Vick Foundation.
Another five books were nominated for the prize of BGN 10,000 and translation of the novel into English out of a total of 68 books:
The Lost Donkeys by Valeri Stefanov, Autopsy of a Love Affair by Victor Paskov, Worlds by Vladimir Zarev, Danny by Ivan Golev and Consortium Alternus by Lea Cohen.
The winner was selected by a jury made up of Petar Anastasov, Dimitar Tomov, Irina Vagalinska, Georgi Koritarov and by the readers, who voted for a few months.
"When you read the book it is obvious that Biolchev was having fun while writing and this is what makes this novel strong. As if he represents the story of Bulgarians, Slavs and Byzantines meeting, but it turns out that the story is actually about the meeting of three beverages – kumis, ale and wine". This is a comment in the review of Amelia Licheva in Culture newspaper.
"This is the only prize that I have received for literature in Bulgaria", the author commented to National Radio.
The novel's plot is historical and relates to the eighth century, "when the three incoming elements of Bulgarian nationality were combined – proto-Bulgarians, Slavs and Thracians". But this is a comic reverie in the past, a joke with accumulated mythology and, more precisely, with our desire to see grandeur where it does not exist, and in the same time neglect the greatness of our small moments and our normal human qualities, Prof. Biolchev explains.
He is sure that "if man does not laugh over his past, he cannot have a healthy present and his future will be as boring as a curriculum".
The novel Amazonkata na Varoe (Varoe’s Amazon) was primarily designed as a movie scenario, but rejected with the argument that "our viewers are not yet up to national irony".
Amazonkata na Varoe (Varoe's Amazon)
Trud Publishing House
The biography of the author is often put on the back cover of the book. Here I will not be egoistical, but just. I give my place to a biography of the book itself. It took me three whole years to write it, so I had the chance to get to know it and decided it was more deserving than me. Two decades ago I wrote a script drawing upon the ludicrous in our history, which was spectacularly rejected by the Cinematographic Artistic Council. One of the leading figures in it told me in the corridor: "What you have written is too much of a mockery. Our viewers are not yet up to national irony!" This person, whom I wish all the best, is still alive. I have seen him recently - he is obviously not yet up to national irony. And the viewer? Well, the viewer, as well as the reader… they are the same. Smarter than the ones who try to bind them within clich?s. And because time was flying by, and I got scared that I would leave this world not yet up to it, I got down to writing again. Now a novel, extracted from the unrealized script. The characters came to life again. I do not know if they are happy to be in my book. But for the past three years I have experienced through them the greatest happiness an exile of the pen could ever dream of.