Twentieth-century masters of the short story – Yovkov, Elin Pelin, Radichkov – perfectly captured the spirit and voice of rural Bulgaria; as their twenty-first century heir, Alexander Shpatov offers a brilliant take on urban Bulgaria, told in the unmistakable inflection of a hardcore Sofia native. #livefromsofia brings to life not idyllic villages and pastures, but looming monuments and underground labyrinths, back alleys and main boulevards, gray panel-block apartment complexes, as well as the hoodie-bedecked kids loitering around their entrances. With these stories, Shpatov helps all of us Sofiaphiles put our finger on why we love this strange and contradictory place and experience the 2.0 version of this city as never before.
Angela Rodel, translator
A sense of a city, a clever cartography via new languages and networks – this is what Alexander Shpatov’s stories draw us into. The best of them, such as “Yellow Brick Road,” “Panel-Block Church,” “Wise Men from the East Take OK Supertrans” and others easily mix fiction with reality, urban legends with new reports, they move past Five Corners, the National Theater, Youth II… The city, of course, is Sofia. As we would like to read it. A city with stories. And with legends.
Georgi Gospodinov, author of “Natural Novel”