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In Stork Mountain, a young Bulgarian immigrant returns to the country of his birth in search of his grandfather, who suddenly and unexpectedly broke contact with the family three years earlier. The trail leads him to a village on the border with Turkey, a stone’s throw away from Greece, high up in the Strandja Mountains---a place of pagan mysteries and black storks nesting in giant oaks; a place where men and women, possessed by Christian saints, dance barefoot across live coals in search of rebirth. Here in the mountains, he gets drawn by his grandfather into a maze of half-truths. And here, he falls in love with an unobtainable Muslim girl. The past will surrender its shameful secrets, as old ghosts come back to life and forgotten conflicts blaze anew.
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About the author
Miroslav Penkov was born in 1982 in Bulgaria. He arrived in America in 2001 and completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of Arkansas. He has won the Eudora Welty Prize in Fiction, and his story “Buying Lenin” was published in The Best American Short Stories 2008, edited by Salman Rushdie. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Texas, where he is a fiction editor for the American Literary Review. He is the author of East of the West.