Stories within stories, a few contemporary fables, a hint of the narrative complexity of Borges, a whiff of the gritty realism of pre- and post-communist life in Eastern Europe - these are the elements that come together in a unique and surprising way in the wildly imaginative and endlessly engaging short stories of Georgi Gospodinov. Whether a tongue-in-cheek crime/horror story or the Christmas story of a pig, a language game leading to an unexpected epiphany or an inward-looking tale built on the complexity of a puzzle box, the work in this collection offers a kaleidoscopic experience of a writer whose style has been described as ""anarchic, experimental"" (""New Yorker"") and ""compulsively readable"" (""New York Times""). Gospodinov's debut prose work ""Natural Novel"" was hailed as a ""go-for-broke postmodern construction - a devilish jam of jump-cut narration, pop culture riffs, wholesale quotation, and Chinese-box authorship"" (""Village Voice""). At once familiar and fantastic, his writing is high comedy, high seriousness, and of very high order.
Georgi Gospodinov is a poet, fiction writer, playwright, and critic whose works include Natural Novel (Dalkey Archive, 2005), which has also been translated into French, Danish, Czech, Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian, and Macedonian. He is a researcher at the Institute of Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the editor of a weekly literary and cultural newspaper. He lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. Alexis Levitin, a professor at SUNY Plattsburgh in New York, has published twenty-two books of translations, including Clarice Lispector's Soulstorm (New Directions, 1989), Forbidden Words: Selected Poetry of Eugenio De Andrade (New Directions, 2003), and Carlos De Oliveira's Guernica and Other Poems (Guernica Editions, 2004). Magdalena Levy is a freelance translator who has translated into Bulgarian more than forty books by authors such as Joanne Harris, Eoin Colfer, Susanna Clarke, Alberto Manguel, Yann Martel, Helene Rioux, and Eric Bogosian. She lives in Sofia, Bulgaria with her husband, daughter, and son.