Bulgarian Writer Nets BBC Short Story Award
Bulgarian writer Miroslav Penkov has won the prestigious BBC International Short Story Award for his short story "East of the West."
The judges said they were "unanimous" in their selection of Penkov's story, which is set during and after the Cold War in Bulgaria, BBC informs.
The writer "ambitiously and successfully united personal and political life, joining inner and outer worlds through its deployment of different kinds of realism: social and magical and folkloric," according to Michele Roberts, member of the judging panel.
"I wanted to write a story about those Bulgarians who, at the will of the Great Powers, were severed from our country, and who inevitably will lose, if they haven't already, their sense of being Bulgarian. At the same time, I wanted to write a story about myself, abroad in America and in many ways alone, with a huge body of water between me and the people I love," Penkov has commented on his winning story, as cited by Booktrade.info.
The award is now well established as one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving GBP 15 000.
The BBC competition was opened out this year to include international writers, in honour of the London 2012 Games.
Penkov, 29, has lived in the US since 2001 and currently teaches creative writing at the North Texas University.