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Nine Rabbits
By Virginia Zaharieva, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
"Gutsy, fresh and vivid, this story of one woman's brave quest through life will take you on a wild ride." — Kapka Kassabova, author of Street Without a Name

In Bulgaria during the height of communism in the 1960s, six-year-old Manda survives her cruel grandmother and rural poverty by finding sheer delight in the world—plump vegetables, garden gnomes, and darkened attic corners. The young Manda endures severe beatings, seemingly indestructible. But as a middle-aged artist in newly democratic Bulgaria, she desperately tries to feed her damaged soul.

Nine Rabbits was a bestselling title in Bulgaria when it was released in 2008. As with Black Balloon's spring 2013 title, Our Man in Iraq, Nine Rabbits is an exceptional English language translation of literary fiction from an underrepresented country. Literary critics have labeled Zaharieva a brilliant representative of Bulgarian ecriture feminine.

Click here to download the Nine Rabbits press kit.

Download the iPad edition
The iPad edition of Nine Rabbits features full-color professional photograph accompanying 20 recipes, as well as a recipes-only section with active links back to the text.

Read an excerpt on The Airship
Virginia Zaharieva

Virginia Zaharieva was born in Sofia in 1959. She is a writer, psychotherapist, feminist, and mother. Her novel Nine Rabbits is among the most celebrated Bulgarian books to appear over the past two decades and the first of Zaharieva’s work made available in North America.

Translator Angela Rodel won a Fulbright fellowship to study Bulgarian at Sofia University in 1996 and returned to Bulgaria on a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in 2004, where she still resides and works as a literary translator of note. Rodel won a 2013 NEA Translation Grant for Georgi Gospodinov’s novel The Physics of Sorrow and a PEN Translation Fund Grant for Holy Light, a collection of stories by Georgi Tenev—in both cases, this was the first time a Bulgarian work had received the award.

Press Highlights
  • "Nine Rabbits is an intense study in the barely-controlled chaos of its protagonist, Manda, at two crucial stretches of her life."
    Fiction Writer's Review
  • "Zaharieva packs several genres into one, including but not limited to pastoral idyll, sexual coming-of-age story, and feminist memoir. Ultimately, she presents life in all its messiness and possibility, vivid enough for the reader to almost taste." — Publishers Weekly
  • "I know of few books that explore the workings of psychological and cultural legacies as fearlessly... The boldness of 'Nine Rabbits' is expressed in its narrative virtuosity as well, for it blends memoir, recipes, alternative endings, references to popular Western culture, koans, dreams, diary entries and verse."
    — Rob Neufeld, The Asheville Citizen-Times
  • "Intimate and conversational, this is a must-read!" — The Daily Meal
  • "Lyrical and magical ... Filled with nostalgia, [the novel's] recipes beg to be made. Eccentric instructions and all." — Pop-Break
  • "One moment there is past-tense prose and the next we meet the startling present in poetry, stream-of-consciousness, and the most well-timed recipes ever to grace a novel. Zaharieva’s prose reads like a reverie and translator Angela Rodel maintains authenticity with her mastery of slang equivalents, partly responsible for the total lack of boundaries between page and reader. We are under the waves with Manda, from beginning to end, unable to separate ourselves from her clear, brutal vision of the 'Great Experiment' of her life."
    Curbside Splendor
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