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Elias Canetti Prize 2007 U.K. contemporary Bulgarian novel

 Contest of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Winner 2013 


Literary & General


Alek Popov




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All except sold


Alek Popov is the prize-winning author of widely translated collections of short stories, and his first novel, Mission London, has been published into fifteen languages and was adapted into a hugely successful film. His works have won numerous literary prizes, including the “Helicon” for the best prose work, Mission London, in 2002. His second novel, The Black Box, stood for weeks at the top of the bestseller lists and received the 2007 prestigious Elias Canetti-Prize. The awards that Alek Popov...




February 2006

Rights sold: Bulgarian, English, German, Italian, Latvian, Polish, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish.


In 1991, two Bulgarian brothers, Ned and Angel, receive an unusual package from the USA; a black plastic box containing the ashes of their late father, Professor Emmanuel Banov. But are they really his ashes? How can the brothers be sure? And why would anyone want to fake their father's death? 15 years later, as the brothers forge new and very different lives (Ned a management consultant; Ango a dog walker to the rich) in their new home in New York, some answers begin to emerge . . . A darkly comic satire, the novel exposes human selfishness, greed and delusion that is found in every society – whether it be in the former Eastern Bloc or the West, a dog-walkers’ union or in the canyons of Wall Street, the rarefied air of academe or the Club of Successful Expats.


"Prize-winning Bulgarian novelist Alek Popov has a uniquely scabrous view of Bulgarians abroad . . . In The Black Box, Popov devotes his comic energy to two Bulgarian brothers . . . [The] Black Box wrestles with the parochial view that there are two places in the world: Bulgaria, and everywhere else."  — Richard Beard, "El escritor búlgaro firma 'La caja negra', una brillante novela satírica sobre complots corporativos, inmigración y tensiones fraternales que evoca la trepidante trapisonda de los Coen y el humor ulceroso de Kurt Vonnegut."  — Kiko Amat, El Periódico (06/05/2020) “¡El espíritu errático de los Balcanes! Para mí, el rasgo más espectacular de los balcánicos es su parodia del orden y la jerarquía. Hay algo anarquista en la mentalida...