East of the West

East of the West

A Country in Stories

Book - 2011 | 1st ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A brilliant debut from a rising talent praised by Salman Rushdie, among others.

A grandson tries to buy the corpse of Lenin on eBay for his Communist grandfather. A failed wunderkind steals a golden cross from an orthodox church. A boy meets his cousin (the love of his life) once every five years in the waters of the river that divides their village into East and West. These are some of the strange, unexpectedly moving events in talented newcomer Miroslav Penkov's vision of his home country, Bulgaria, and they are the stories that make up his extraordinary debut collection.

In East of the West Penkov writes with great empathy about 800 years of tumult in troubled Eastern Europe; his characters mourn the way things were and long for things that will never be. But even as the characters wrestle with the weight of history, the debt to family, and the pangs of exile, the stories themselves are light and deft, animated by Penkov's unmatched eye for the absurd. In 2008, Salman Rushdie chose Penkov's story "Buying Lenin" (which appears in this collection) for that year's Best American Short Stories, citing its heart and humour. East of the West reveals the full realization of the brilliant potential that Rushdie recognized.
Publisher: [Toronto, Ont.] : Bond Street Books, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385676007
Branch Call Number: PENKO
Characteristics: 226 p. ; 21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 02, 2018

If you like short stories, this is a gem. Bulgarian born Miroslav Penkov serves up some real doozies. Salman Rushdie hit the nail on the head as he described this book as, "Completely beautiful".

KindianaJones Dec 16, 2014

The kind of short story collection best read with a friend -- you'll want to discuss these stories in some depth. They are enjoyable both on the surface and upon deeper reflection. Buying Lenin is a standout.

Sep 10, 2012

Let's be real, these stories are all rather depressing. But they are so well written and caught my attention the whole way through. What more can you ask for in a book??

Mar 04, 2012

Very talented young author. His prose has a distinct flavor and a depth of thought and impression that is both inspiring, emotional and deliciously funny all at the same time.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at JMS

To Top