Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Stork Mountain

Stork Mountain

A Novel

Miroslav Penkov

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Stork Mountain tells the story of a young Bulgarian immigrant who, in an attempt to escape his mediocre life in America, returns to the country of his birth. Retracing the steps of his estranged grandfather, a man who suddenly and inexplicably cut all contact with the family three years prior, the boy finds himself on the border of Bulgaria and Turkey, a stone's throw away from Greece, high up in the Strandja Mountains. It is a place of pagan mysteries and black storks nesting in giant oaks; a place where every spring, possessed by Christian saints, men and women dance barefoot across live coals in search of rebirth. Here in the mountains, the boy reunites with his grandfather. Here in the mountain, he falls in love with an unobtainable Muslim girl. Old ghosts come back to life and forgotten conflicts, in the name of faith and doctrine, blaze anew.

Stork Mountain is an enormously charming, slyly brilliant debut novel from an internationally celebrated writer. It is a novel that will undoubtedly find a home in many readers' hearts.

EXCERPT

ONE



SOMEONE WAS BEATING THE DOOR of the station and I heard a man cry out, “Let us in, you donkeys. The storm’s on my tail and inching closer.” But I hadn’t slept in thirty hours and maybe I was dreaming of voices. Or maybe...

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About the author

Miroslav Penkov

Miroslav Penkov was born in 1982 in Bulgaria. He moved to America in 2001 and received an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas. His stories have won the BBC International Short Story Award 2012 and The Southern Review's Eudora Welty Prize and have appeared in A Public Space, Granta, One Story, The Best American Short Stories 2008, The PEN / O. Henry Prize Stories 2012, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. Published in over a dozen countries, East of the West was a finalist for the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and the Steven Turner Award for First Fiction by the Texas Institute of Letters. In 2014-15 he was the literature protégé in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, working with mentor Michael Ondaatje. Penkov teaches creative writing at the University of North Texas, where he is editor-in-chief of the American Literary Review.

Miroslav Penkov

Bart Michiels

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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