Alek Popov has won several literary awards including:
• the National Radio’s Pavel Veshinov Award for the best criminal short story;
• the Graviton Award for best science fiction;
• the Raško Sugarev Award for best short story;
• the prize Helicon for best prose book of the year, 2002 and 2013;
• the annual prize of Clouds magazine for the English translation of Mission London, 2004;
• the National Prize for Drama Ivan Radoev;
• the Elias Canetti Prize for his novel The Black Box, 2007;
• The Flower of Helicon Award;
• the United Bulgarian Banks Award for book of the year 2007.
Literary & General
Alek Popov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1966. His first novel, Mission London, was published in 2001. It has been widely acclaimed as “the funniest contemporary Bulgarian book” for its sarcastic projection of the diplomatic elite. So far, it has been translated and published into 12 languages. A film based on the novel was released in 2010. Popov’s second novel, The Black Box, was published in 2007. It came out in German under the title Die Hunde fliegen tief (Dogs Are Flying Low) and in En...
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An elderly man dies in a remote Bulgarian village. He is 92 years old, he is the last person living in the village and no one would have noticed his death, were it not that, due to it, the country’s population fatally falls below 7 million people, leading the demographic decline in the Eu and triggering waves of panic in national politics. People are starting to wonder: are we going to disappear? Will there still be any Bulgarians in the next hundred years? Is it the fault of democracy or the EU?
The country’s president - a staunch nationalist facing re-election - is determined to do something. Of course he could open the doors of the country to thousands of migrants, but he cannot do it, because he was elected promising that Bulgaria would be open to Bulgarians only. But where to find them, when those who have emigrated do not want to return? So the president sends an anthropological expedition to find Bulgarians around the world for him to take home. After a short time, anthropologists proudly report that in a remote region of Central Asia they have found a population resembling the Proto-Bulgarians who left some 70 generations ago. The president is thrilled. Firstly, if these people get Bulgarian passports, it means that the country will have 7.5 million people again; and secondly, he could make a deal for them to vote for him in the next presidential election...
Of course, as things do, the plan has one fatal flaw: once they get their passports, these new citizens of Bulgaria have zero interest in going 'back home'...
Excerpt and comparative study in Haemus Magazine; Démographie : le nouveau clivage. Une histoire bulgare