Available in paperback in the US June 2012 from Picador

A grandson tries to buy the corpse of Lenin on eBay for his Communist grandfather. A failed wunderkind steals a golden cross from an Orthodox church. A boy meets his cousin (the love of his life) once every five years in the river that divides their village into east and west. These are Miroslav Penkov’s strange, unexpectedly moving visions of his home country, Bulgaria, and they are the stories that make up his charming, deeply felt debut collection.

In East of the West, Penkov writes with great empathy of centuries of tumult; his characters mourn the way things were and long for things that will never be. But even as they wrestle with the weight of history, with the debt to family, with the pangs of exile, the stories in East of the West are always light on their feet, animated by Penkov’s unmatched eye for the absurd.

A few words about the stories and
the history of Bulgaria
Story excerpts

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East of the West: Stories  
Barnes & Noble
Indie Bound

Foreign Editions


For the latest news see my blog:

Rolex Mentor And Protégé
Best American Nonrequired Reading

A new story in Granta
A Guest on BBC's The Forum
Winner of the BBC International Short Story Award 2012

BBC Radio Four Front Row

NPR Weekend All Things Considered

An audio profile for Art&Seek

"Makedonija" on Five Chapters
An interview in One Story

An audio interview for Orion


TV appearances in Bulgaria:

more TV appearances



Audiobook and foreign editions

На Изток от Запада (Сиела 2011)

На български

Audiobook @ Adible.co.uk
Audiobook @ Audible.com

Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, Jane Collingwood, Thomas Judd, Patrick Moy, Hugh Ross


Hodder & Stoughton
Bond Street Books
Doubleday Canada


"... one of the most exciting debut collections in recent memory."
                              -- The Boston Globe

"... Penkov's teeming stories accomplish in phrases what lesser writers take chapters to convey... a collection of triumphs
                              -- The LA Times

"... This is a sparkling collection.."
                              -- The Guardian

"... These stories are not the promising work of a first-time author. They are already a promise fulfilled--wise, bright, and deep with sympathy."
                              -- The New Republic

heart-crushingly funny, stereotype-splattering creations..."
                              -- Interview Magazine

An unapologetic love letter to a culture of many colors."
                                    -- Kirkus Review

More reviews, blurbs,




Site: Miroslav Penkov / Мирослав Пенков
Cover illustration: Peter Sis