Bulgaria’s ‘Time Shelter’ wins International Booker Prize

Bulgaria’s ‘Time Shelter’ wins International Booker Prize

Bulgaria’s ‘Time Shelter’ wins International Booker Prize

Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov and translator Angela Rodel were named on May 23 winners of the International Booker Prize with the novel “Time Shelter,” a first for a book in Bulgarian.

The prestigious award recognizes works of fiction from around the world that have been translated into English and the 50,000 ($62,000) prize is split equally between the author and the translator.

The winning novel focuses on a “clinic for the past” that offers experimental Alzheimer’s treatment. To trigger patients’ memories, it recreates the atmosphere of past decades down to the smallest detail.

But with time healthy people start coming to the clinic, seeking an escape from the horrors of modern life.

“It is a novel that invites reflection and vigilance as much as it moves us, because the language - sensitive and precise - manages to capture, in a Proustian vein, the extreme fragility of the past,” Franco-Moroccan writer and judges panel chair Leila Slimani said.

Born in 1968, novelist and poet Gospodinov is the most internationally acclaimed modern Bulgarian author. His works are translated into 25 languages. Speaking about the book’s nomination, Gospodinov said “this encourages writers not only from my country, but also from the Balkans, who often feel themselves outside the sphere of English-speaking attention.”

Rodel is originally from the U.S. state of Minnesota but lives and works in Bulgaria.

Her poetry and prose translations have been published across literary magazines and anthologies.In 2014, she was granted Bulgarian citizenship for her work and contribution to Bulgarian culture.