Famous American writer Elizabeth Kostova presents bestseller in Bulgaria
The famous American writer Elizabeth Kostova is presenting her bestseller “The Historian” at the American University in Bulgaria (AUB), beginning at 7 pm on Tuesday.
The event is part of the series “Poets and Writers”, organized by the AUB, which have been held since 2007.
Well-known Bulgarian poet and writer Lyubomir Levchev, who is also a lecturer at AUB is the author of the initiative.
Eight such lectures have been held up until now with presenters including poets and writers such as Edvin Sugarev, Annie Ilkov, Alex Popov, Alexander Prokopiev, among others.
The novel “The Historian”, Kostova’s first, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list during the summer and fall of 2005 and it was named the 2006 Book Sense “Book of the Year” in the Adult Fiction category. It’s been published in 40 languages. Sales have reached 5 million copies worldwide.
The rights to publish The Historian were purchased by Little, Brown and Co. for USD 2 M. Sony has since purchased the movie rights for USD 1.5 M. Douglas Wick, producer of Memoirs of a Geisha and Gladiator has signed on to produce the film.
In late 2006, Kostova went on an international book tour for The Historian’s paperback version.
The writer is a graduate of Yale University and holds a MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.
She wrote The Historian over the course of ten years. The initial flame was sparked by stories told to her by her father, a professor, who used to regale her with stories of the vampiric kind while travelling Europe. Kostova was inspired to base much of the book in Bulgaria by her Bulgarian husband Georgi Kostov.
Elizabeth Kostova first went to Bulgaria in 1989 when she was engaged in a university study of the East European folklore. That trip influenced The Historian by providing it with a setting (one third of the novel takes place in Bulgaria in the very period of her visit) and because it is very close to Transylvania – the birthplace of Dracula. Also during this trip she met her husband – Georgi Kostov. She now often travels to Bulgaria with him.
In May 2007, the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for Creative Writing was founded. The Foundation helps support Bulgarian creative writing, the translation of contemporary Bulgarian literature into English, and friendship between Bulgarian authors and American and British authors.
Kostova’s second novel is expected to be published in the fall of 2009.
While nominally a modern re-telling of the Dracula story, The Historian delves deeply into the nature of history and its relevance to today’s world, as well as serving as a cautionary tale on the historical antagonism between Western Civilization and Islam.
“The Historian” is a chilling historical mystery that reaches from the present day into the medieval past of Vlad the Impaler, Wallachia’s barbarous 15th century ruler whose gruesome deeds gave rise to the legend of Dracula. In The Historian, Kostova’s characters hunt the immortal Prince Vlad across twentieth century Europe, from ancient village to dank crypt in a quest to destroy the vampire.
Set in four time periods – 1930s, the 1950s, around 1973, and the author’s “present day”, 2005 – this intriguing book tells the interweaving stories of a young girl in a quest over many parts of Europe to find out about her father’s travels in the 1950s and beyond, in addition to those of his mentor, Professor Rossi.