By Black Balloon

After a slight detour through Boston (possibly due to yesterday’s bizarre New Jersey wildfire), Black Balloon Publishing’s author Virginia Zaharieva has arrived in New York City from her native Bulgaria to kick off her Nine Rabbits book tour. Beginning today, Virginia will be travelling across the U.S., visiting bookstores, universities and even a bar to discuss the themes of her new novel: fiction and food, books and Bulgaria, literature and life.

Based largely on Virginia’s own life, Nine Rabbits tells the story of Manda growing up in rural Bulgaria in the 1960s, during the height of Communism. The tough though lively six-year-old survives her grandmother’s beating and the everyday challenges of poverty by diving into the world around her, taking sheer delight in lush vegetable gardens, pounding seatides, dark attics and monasteries. Manda seems indestructible, but as a middle-aged artist and frustrated writer in newly democratic Bulgaria, she struggles desperately to feed her damaged soul.

Nine Rabbits was first published in 2008 in Bulgaria, where it quickly became a bestseller and, as Virginia explains in this interview, inspired a generation of young, urban women who had never cooked to venture into the kitchen looking for more than a snack. Six years on, the novel remains one of the most celebrated Bulgarian books to appear over the last two decades.

Black Balloon Publishing’s new translation of Nine Rabbits by Fulbright fellow Angela Rodel is Virginia’s first work available in English. To celebrate her literary arrival in the U.S., Virginia will be visiting New York, Rochester, Asheville, Seattle and Chicago to discuss how she cooks up fiction and writes about food. Catch her at one of these free events:

TODAY: Tuesday, April 8, 7 P.M.

192 Books

New York City, New York

Virginia Zaharieva and Albena Stambolova, another of Bulgaria’s more important and celebrated contemporary authors, will discuss their writing and careers, both in their home countries and abroad.


Thursday, April 10, 6 P.M.

University of Rochester Literary Translation Studies Department

Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library

Rochester, New York

Celebrate women in translation with Virginia Zaharieva, translator Angela Rodel, writer Iben Mondrup, translator Kerri Pierce and novelist Albena Stambolova.


Sunday, April 13, 3 P.M.

Malaprop’s Books

Asheville, North Carolina

Virginia Zaharieva and fellow Bulgarian author Albena Stambolova have a conversation with Elizabeth Kostova, founder of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, which supports Bulgarian literature in English translation.


Wednesday, April 16, 6:30 P.M.

Book Larder

Seattle, Washington 

Enjoy fiction-inspired soul food with Virginia Zaharieva as she prepares actual dishes from Nine Rabbits!


Thursday, April 17, 7pm


Chicago, Illinois

Celebrate talented authors from independent presses with Virginia Zaharieva, Daniela Olszewsk and Albena Stambolova.


Friday, April 18, 6 P.M.

Seminary Co-Op Bookstore

Chicago, Illinois

Celebrate Bulgarian literature in translation with Virginia Zaharieva, translator Angela Rodel, novelist Albena Stambolova and translator Olga Nikolova.


Black Balloon Publishing is an independent press headquartered in New York, NY, with both print and digital distribution channels. We've published literary fiction, nonfiction and memoir, and we're willing to grow our reach in any direction that suits. Our books evolve, rotate, get mapped onto cities and light up your screen. We champion the weird, the unwieldy and the unclassifiable. The Airship is our blog and chief propaganda vehicle.

(Image credits, all from: Black Balloon Publishing)


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