The year was difficult, but it passed quite quickly, and gave us a lot of free time to read, which should be considered as a pleasant unexpected gift. Apart from everything that happened, there is one indisputable positive fact - Bulgarian publishing houses still survived and managed to publish some really important books. Here are some of them we will remember 2020 as not so bad, at least in terms of literature.


          1. "Five minutes with Petar Uvaliev", Radio talks, part 2 - compiled by Ognyan Kovachev


Petar Uvaliev is a name that, unfortunately, fewer and fewer young people in our country have heard. That is why this book is so important for our country. Diplomat, theater director, filmmaker, literary, theater and art critic, radio playwright and translator, Petar Uvaliev is an important figure in the cultural life of Bulgaria and Bulgarians around the world. He has left behind more than 20 productions in London theaters and participated in the creation of 24 films. And the cultural column, which he leads in the Bulgarian section of the BBC in the last years of his life, whose name this book bears, gathers thousands of Bulgarians around the world. This is the only way for the Bulgarians left behind the "Iron Curtain" to learn what is happening in the world. These talks are a cultural bridge between England and Bulgaria. Thanks to them we understand how Bulgarian culture is presented in the United Kingdom. 


The two volumes, compiled by Prof. Ognyan Kovachev, contain these radio talks, written and read in the period 1988-1998. They also show the author's infinite respect for the Bulgarian language. "I speak five languages," he says, "but May 24 has been and remains my most needed Bulgarian holiday!" Having worked with world-famous giants of culture such as Chaplin, Fellini, Antonioni, Mastroianni, he remained painfully faithful to the Bulgarian language and everything Bulgarian.

          2. "The Tsar Speaks" - the speeches of Tsar Boris III

Another extremely important book that Edelweiss Publishing is pleased to publish over the past year. It contains speeches of Tsar Boris III from 1912, when he came of age, until 1938 - 20 years after his coronation. After a long time everything related to the Kingdom of Bulgaria was hidden and banned, the appearance of these speeches on the Bulgarian book market is a real event.


It is known that Tsar Boris III loved to travel around the country and be among tourists, workers, athletes, students, and in the hut of the last Bulgarian peasant. Where there was a celebration or a fair, a railway or a holiday home, he went there to get in touch with his subjects from different social backgrounds, to hear their demands, pains, joys and hopes. These meetings with the people seemed to oblige him to speak on economic, technical, economic and domestic issues, to share what he saw and which way was the most reasonable.

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     3. "A Life for Cinema" - Jean-Jacques Ano


This kind of autobiography of the great French director Jean-Jacques Ano was accompanied by a lot of media noise and for good reason. The presentation of the book was part of the Sinelibri festival, where Ano himself was invited to judge. Unfortunately, he failed to visit Bulgaria as part of the festival due to the restrictive measures imposed in France against Coronavirus, but joined in live to announce the winner of the competition, having an extremely interesting conversation about life, cinema and literature.


In the book, the director talks about the process of working on his most famous films, his meeting with the biggest names in the art world - Patrick Dever to Sean Connery, from Brad Pitt to Rachel Weiss, Marguerite Duras and others. We owe the translation of this "book jewel" to Vladimir Atanasov, Georgi Angelov and Krassimir Petrov, and the cover design to Stefan Kasarov.

   4. "In sad days we do not talk about birds" - Portuguese poetry


This exceptional book contains a selection of poems by contemporary Portuguese poets such as: Nuno Judise, Pedro Tamen, Jorge Souza Braga, Isabel Aguiar, Pedro Messiah, Manuel de Freitas and others. Thanks to the wonderful translation of Maria Georgieva, Tsocho Boyadzhiev, Bulgarian readers have the opportunity to touch the beauty of a perfect poetry and immerse themselves in that sometimes more real world of words.

Here is one of Jorge Braga's poems:



Tonight I dreamed of giving you the ring of Saturn
and I almost died of fear of it
let it not be on your finger 

on your nipple lost
will to fly

          5. "The ethics of cruelty" - Jose Ovejero

Another book that impresses with its uniqueness and uniqueness. The essays of the Spanish writer Jose Ovejero are extremely daring and penetrating, at times even frightening and repulsive with their sincerity. But the cruelty in art, which he discusses in the texts and directly unravels with his analyzes, is an indisputable fact. The author makes an almost psychological analysis of the works of famous writers such as Juan Carlos Onetti, Cormac McCarthy, Elias Canetti, Georges Bataille, Elfride Jelinek, Luis Martin-Santos, who in a rather irresponsible way describe pictures of violence, torture, humiliation and on animals. Yes, a person can be very cruel in his actions and intentions! The cruelty described in the books, which practically does not hurt anyone, can cause mental, even physical suffering to the reader.


Ovejero urges us to be aware of the aggression that is being poured on us - the readers or spectators of a theatrical performance, aggression towards us who have obediently bought a ticket to witness our own suffering and our own cruelty which is dormant in the subconscious. Such a book has not been published so far, so the publishing house makes us a real gift with it.


          6. "And I became a river" - Nedyalko Slavov

We return to Bulgarian with the latest novel by Nedyalko Slavov, which deserves special attention. "This is not a book for fun," Dimitar Stojanovic writes. "It simply came to our notice then. Because very soon God will sigh and spring will come, in which we will always be children and forever in love. In spite of the nonsense. ”Like all his novels, this one is characterized by great depth and a strong social position, with a study of life and what is happening here and now.


The river mentioned in the title is Maritsa, related to the author's childhood. Although the book has a clear topos (time and space in the work), reality is somehow lost in the imaginary. According to Nedyalko, this was the goal, not to make it clear what is real and what is not in the book, as it is in life itself. We are constantly going in and out of reality, switching from one world to another.

          7. The Wanderer - Whiston Hugh Auden

Finally, a whole book of Auden's poetry is published in Bulgarian. So far, only a few of his poems have been translated, which made the poet completely unknown to the Bulgarian readership, although his name is well known and much loved around the world. Auden is one of the best poets of the twentieth century. Born in England, later emigrated to the United States, he has won numerous literary awards such as: "Pulitzer (1948), Bolingen (1954), Austrian State Prize for European Literature (1966), "Golden Wreath" at the Struga Evenings (1971). Auden's poetry is distinguished by its incredible stylistic achievements, its attitude to moral values ​​and political issues, as well as the variety of mental states, forms and themes.


The translation and selection of the verses are by Angelina Vasileva.

          8. "Anemoya" - Robert Levy


Robert Levy's new collection of poems is an event, not because the author so rarely publishes his books, more often as foreign editors, but because Anemoya is real, pure poetry that speaks the international language of the greatest masters of the word. I am not exaggerating at all - contemporary Bulgarian poetry threw us into a lot of everyday life and subjected us to a great experiment (supposedly on the poetry itself, but it turned out to be an experiment with the readers), unfortunately, with very bad consequences. However, this book contrasts sharply with all the others. The collection of poems is deeply philosophical, I would say - suffering. This is a book about loneliness and exile, about time, lived or not, about nostalgia and hope.


"Anemia" means nostalgia for a time when you did not live. In addition, the Anemones are ancient Greek gods of the winds. What time is it? Is it one or are they many? Do they have a topos? Do we meet these gods from antiquity? You will find answers to these questions in the book, accompanied by photographs taken personally by the author.

               9. "Lullaby in Auschwitz" - Mario Escobar


The novel is based on real events and, as the title suggests, the theme is World War II, Nazism and Hitler's concentration camps. Mario Escobar follows the fate of a German mother who voluntarily goes to Auschwitz with her children and works with Dr. Mengele to bring at least some joy to the children there. Her self-sacrifice is the light in the endless darkness of the "death camp."


On an ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hahnemann prepared her children for school. But police shoes are already pounding on the stairs. Her worst nightmare is becoming a reality - although she herself is of impeccable origin, her husband, a talented violinist, is a gypsy and is subject to deportation to a concentration camp. The commandment is clear - Helene can continue her life at large, but her love and their children must be taken away. The mother refuses to separate from her family and takes the thorny path to hell called Auschwitz.


This topic seems to never run out and will always arouse the interest of readers and historians. And this is good, because evil, if nothing else, serves as a lesson to future generations and shows us how far humanity can go in its cruelty. And since there is a lot of speculation on the subject of Hitler, it is important that books like this show the truth without concealing anything.

        10. "Kingdom of Bulgaria in color"


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Another important book about Bulgaria, although not exactly artistic. It is a supplement to the bilingual edition of the bestseller "Kingdom of Bulgaria in Color" and is a unique album with 150 retouched and colored photographs that breathe life into a fading, otherwise so colorful era.


The book will transport you through seven decades and will show you different aspects of the life of revived Bulgaria. You will meet the familiar faces of statesmen, military, revolutionaries, monarchs and their families, but also those of ordinary people. You will walk through the simple but full of purity life of the Bulgarian village, you will cross the threshold of the new Bulgarian cities, which have flourished. You will remember some of the most significant events and happenings, and with them - some more unknown, thanks to which you will fully feel the spirit of that time.


He is the author of the texts Martin Chorbadjiiski. I am sure that the book will make every Bulgarian proud to be born here.

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