tibor fischer (2)

‘The Hungarian Tiger’: Tibor Fischer interviewed by Nick Barlay

Tibor Fischer has just written his ‘last will and testament’. Before anyone fears his impending demise or the legal implications for his literary estate, rest assured: he is still in rude health, and working on a new novel from his perch on Brixton Hill under the watchful eye of Sándor Márai photographed in his pre-war…

Nick Barlay | August 13, 2014

Esther Harper reviews ‘Into the Whirlwind’ by Eugenia Ginzburg (Persephone Books)

Rating:

Behind-the-scenes accounts of the lives of normal people in Stalin’s Russia are few and far between, so it’s a privilege to have read Eugenia Ginzburg’s memoirs of life as a victim of the period. Into the Whirlwind is a sobering and harrowing testament of one woman’s experience in the prison camp system, and it fills…

Esther Harper | August 9, 2014

Ian Mole reviews Miroslav Penkov’s ‘East of the West’.

Miroslav Penkov was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria in 1982, seven years before the fall of the Communist regime, but he moved to the United States when he was eighteen and now lives in Texas.  This collection, which he wrote in English, comes in at just over two hundred pages and is composed of eight tales. After reading the dust-jacket…

Ian Mole | August 2, 2014

Ian Mole reviews Blaga Dimitrova’s ‘The Last Rock Eagle’

Blaga Dimitrova (1922-2003) was a major figure in Twentieth Century literature and politics, and is perhaps Bulgaria’s most famous poet. She was an outspoken critic of the Communist regime in her country in the Seventies and Eighties and when democracy was finally restored in 1989, she was a leading light against the attempts of the…

Ian Mole | July 14, 2014
Sigrid Rausing

David Rothenberg reviews Sigrid Rausing’s ‘Everything is Wonderful’ (Grove Press 2014)

The Story You Need to Survive Sigrid Rausing’s first book on her time spent in the once-Swedish peninsula Noarootsi in coastal Estonia was The End of a Collective Farm: History, Memory and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia (Oxford 2004).  Based on her dissertation in the field of anthropology, it is a fine academic work on the early transition from…

David Rothenberg | July 5, 2014

Sergei Dovlatov’s ‘Pushkin Hills’ reviewed by David Rothenberg

“Dovlatov?  You’ve never heard of him?!  But he was published in The New Yorker!” So a Siberian scientist explained to me at a café in Tartu four years ago.  No I had not heard of Sergei Dovlatov.  I thought I knew all the Russian emigré writers who made it to the big time in the USA,…

David Rothenberg | June 21, 2014
Kapka Kassabova

Ian Mole reviews Kapka Kassabova’s ‘Street Without a Name’

Rating:

This very enjoyable and informative book was among the first I ever read about Bulgaria. I knew one of the Wombles was called Uncle Bulgaria and a few other facts about the country too.  There was also a great deal that I didn’t know so I now feel that Bulgaria has been opened up to…

Ian Mole | June 20, 2014
Corneliu Popescu

‘Buried’ A short story from Romania, by Mike Ormsby

43 Celsius: the hottest day of the year so far. I decide to walk up town, just to see how it feels. No point hiding indoors, better to adapt, that’s how humans survive. Plus, there is something I need to do – find out about Romanian writers. The Internet helps, but not much; Wikipedia offers…

Mike Ormsby | June 7, 2014
Deyan Enev, photo by Justine Тoms, via Wikimedia Commons

Ian Mole reviews ‘Circus Bulgaria’ by Deyan Enev

                  Circus Bulgaria is a collection of fifty short stories, some of them less than two pages long and many of them like postcards from a place that’s way past its best, the protagonists often struggling to survive in difficult circumstances. Although there is no definite time-reference…

Ian Mole | June 7, 2014