I grew up in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, among the ruins of 8000 years of civilizations. A kid of the 80’s, I read my way through libraries’ worth of books, as yet another empire collapsed around me. I read under blankets, in bread lines, in the basement (where ten thousand books lay in carboard boxes), on my way to school, in the thyme-schented meadows of Rila mountain, and the pine forests of the Rhodope.
Stories raised me, educated me, taught me how to be a human. At the time, I thought they did that for everyone who needed it–I thought they squatted in libraries, just waiting for a kid to walk by alone so they can attach themselves. I didn’t even consciously understand they had authors until much later. In my head, the books were reality and writers were some abstract notion. So abstract that I never even imagined I could be one. But the stories have a mind of their own.