by Georgi Tenev
February 9, 2016
novel | pb | 123 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"
“Party Headquarters interprets a deeply personal story where the private, the intimate, is publicly exposed.”
—Maria Popova, Politics
Winner of the Vick Foundation Novel of the Year Award in 2007, Party Headquarters takes place in the ’80s and ’90s, during Bulgaria’s transition from communist rule to democracy. The book—which is a love story, a parody, and a thriller about a political hoax—opens with the main character visiting his father-in-law, an old communist party boss who is dying, and being tasked with delivering a suitcase filled with one-and-a-half million euros.
It’s one of Bulgaria’s most popular myths: As the communist party fell apart, officials squirreled away bags of the country’s wealth, and these bags are still circulating, waiting to be delivered to conspirators. But this is just the beginning of the corruption and inequality . . . While immersing himself in pornography and prostitution, our hero reflects back on his life and the emblematic events that took place—the anticommunist protests, the arson attack on the Communist Party Headquarters, and, most crucially, the Chernobyl disaster.
Beautiful and tragic, Party Headquarters is an engrossing testament to the struggles after the fall of the Soviet Union, many of which continue to resonate today. (Read an Excerpt)
Translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
About the Author: Georgi Tenev, before penning the Vick Prize-winning novel Party Headquarters, had already published four books, founded the Triumviratus Art Group, hosted The Library television program about books, and written plays that have been performed in Germany, France, and Russia. He is also a screenwriter for film and TV.
About the Translator: Angela Rodel earned an MA in linguistics from UCLA and received a Fulbright Fellowship to study and learn Bulgarian. In 2010, she won a PEN Translation Fund Grant for Georgi Tenev's short story collection. She is one of the most prolific translators of Bulgarian literature working today, and received an NEA Fellowship for her translation of Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow.
“Black irony, the use of lexicon format, the documentary reminders—all this makes Party Headquarters one of the most influential books of recent times.”
—Amelia Licheva, Capital Light