On March 17, the premiere of „Reader on Demand“ will be held in the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo. This is a literary collection of poems and stories by 64 Bulgarian authors from 10 countries on 4 continents. The book is the result of an initiative of the Bulgarian information portal in Chicago /www.EuroChicago.com/ that aims at publishing on paper the most interesting works by Bulgarians, previously published on the site. The book is aimed to reach readers in Bulgaria and to spread among Bulgarian communities abroad.
“What this initiative shows is a very wide geography of Bulgarian literature,”editor Mariana Hristova says. “Our book does not include all Bulgarian authors around the world, but these authors jointly create an interesting picture. There are works that make it very difficult to recognize if the writer is an emigrant or not. There are well-established authors and completely unknown ones included. We have not sought for thematic focusin the works – the stories are different, most of them are related to present-day Bulgaria. Attention is paid to the depopulation of Bulgaria, which is an important topic for Bulgarians living in the country but also for many emigrants. In the book one can find nostalgia, returns to Bulgarian history, as well as fantastic stories – that is a very rich palette. „
The first two collections created on this principle are „Cherga“ and „Clock Tower“. The title of the third one – „Reader on Demand“, also reveals the way it is distributed – completely free of charge. „The reader can find the book and this is a completely non-commercial project,“ Mariana Hristovasays. The collection is a fact thanks to the donations, work and joint efforts of Bulgarians living on both sides of the ocean. For the first time ever this entirely private initiative for publishing books with works by Bulgarian authors from various parts of the world was also supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the General Consulate of Bulgaria in Chicago. Viktor Hinov, one of the authors in the book sayswhat made him become the main donor and active promoter for the realization of all three collections, was the will to escape daily routine and to dedicate some time to a Bulgarian cause. Viktor Hinov is a doctor who has been living and working for more than 20 years in America, and for whom the link with his homeland, ancestors and memories is the foundation of a successful life away from his roots. Speaking about the topics that inspire him, Viktor Hinov says:
„My position as an emigrant is something exciting. This is an adventure I got into with my whole family and which has gradually turned into a life. I understand that I will never cease to be Bulgarian, just like none of my friends from other countries will ever feel 100% American. And this is not needed. The world is becoming more global. You know, my kids wanted to travel to China, Japan, Europe, Africa and they did it. I see that Bulgarian youths also travel around the world and I think it is very important that they keep their identity. They need to preserve their language, to read in Bulgarian, to write in Bulgarian, to visit Bulgaria. Now we are in Sofia, and my daughter and I went to the Boyana Church. She was amazed by the frescoes and by the fact thatthey and the church are much older than the American state, for example. These things are invaluable, and we should not lose them.“
The link with the Motherland is preserved through language and that is why Bulgarians, wherever they go around the world, continue to speak and write in their mother tongue, to express their emotions, aspirations, fears and dreams. The „first two collections are already part of the collection in the Bulgarian section of the US Congress Library in Washington, public libraries in Chicago, the Library of the University of Taraklia in Moldova, and of course the National Library „Sts. Cyril and Methodius“in Sofia. „Reader on Demand“ will also arrive at the US Library of Congress. This will most likely happen on the eve of May 24 – The Day of Slavonic Alphabet and Bulgarian Education and Culture, when new Bulgarian books will be donated to this library through the Bulgarian ambassador to Washington and the Chicago Consul General.
English: Alexander Markov