US Embassy, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Host Sofia Literary Day

Society » CULTURE | June 8, 2009, Monday // 11:46| Views: | Comments: 0
US Embassy, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Host Sofia Literary Day: US Embassy, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Host Sofia Literary Day Famous American writer Elizabeth Kostova. File Photo

The US Embassy in Sofia and the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation have joined efforts to host three literary events at the American Corner at the Sofia City Library on June 9.

The information was announced Monday by the Embassy's press center.
The events will begin at 1 pm when US Cultural Attaché Sherry Keneson-Hall will open a lecture entitled "Writing Fiction Step by Step" by American author Josip Novakovich.

The lecture will be based around Novakovich's textbook "The Fiction Writer's Workshop" which is now available in Bulgarian.

Novakovich has received numerous awards for his work including a Whiting Writer's Award and two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. His work has been anthologized in the books "Best American Poetry" and "O'Henry Prize Stories."

A roundtable discussion on "Literature Diplomacy" begins at 2:30 pm and will include writers, editors, translators, critics, publishers and agents.

The day concludes with a literary reading by participants of the 2009 Elizabeth Kostova Foundation's Sozopol Fiction Seminar at 5:30 pm.

Each year the foundation selects five Bulgarian and five English speaking writers to receive fellowships to participate in three days of writing workshops in Sozopol.

The 2009 fellows are: Alexander Shpatov, Alexandra Chaushova, Evgeni Cherepov, Jeremiah Chamberlain, Kodi Scheer, Lana Santoni, Maria Doneva, Maya Sloan, Steven Wingate, and Yanitza Radeva.

More information on the foundation and its events can be found online at:

Elizabeth Kostova is the author of the bestseller The Historian.

The novel The Historian, Kostova's first, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list during the summer and fall of 2005 and it was named the 2006 Book Sense "Book of the Year" in the Adult Fiction category. It's been published in 40 languages. Sales have reached 5 million copies worldwide.

The rights to publish The Historian were purchased by Little, Brown and Co. for USD 2 M. Sony has since purchased the movie rights for USD 1.5 M. Douglas Wick, producer of Memoirs of a Geisha and Gladiator has signed on to produce the film.

In late 2006, Kostova went on an international book tour for The Historian's paperback version.

The writer is a graduate of Yale University and holds a MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.

She wrote The Historian over the course of ten years. The initial flame was sparked by stories told to her by her father, a professor, who used to regale her with stories of the vampiric kind while travelling Europe.

Kostova was inspired to base much of the book in Bulgaria by her Bulgarian husband Georgi Kostov.

Elizabeth Kostova first went to Bulgaria in 1989 when she was engaged in a university study of the East European folklore. That trip influenced The Historian by providing it with a setting (one third of the novel takes place in Bulgaria in the very period of her visit) and because it is very close to Transylvania - the birthplace of Dracula. Also during this trip she met her husband - Georgi Kostov. She now often travels to Bulgaria with him.

In May 2007, the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for Creative Writing was founded. The Foundation helps support Bulgarian creative writing, the translation of contemporary Bulgarian literature into English, and friendship between Bulgarian authors and American and British authors.

Kostova's second novel is expected to be published in the fall of 2009.


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Tags: Elizabeth Kostova, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, US Embassy in Bulgaria
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