As in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, place is at the center of Cynthia Morrison Phoel’s debut collection of linked stories. Quirky, remote, and agonizingly intimate, the ragged village of Old Mountain is home to a cast of Bulgarian townsfolk who do daily battle with the heat or the bitter cold, with soul-crushing poverty, with petty disagreements among themselves—allAs in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, place is at the center of Cynthia Morrison Phoel’s debut collection of linked stories. Quirky, remote, and agonizingly intimate, the ragged village of Old Mountain is home to a cast of Bulgarian townsfolk who do daily battle with the heat or the bitter cold, with soul-crushing poverty, with petty disagreements among themselves—all the while attempting to adapt to changing times and keep up with their neighbors. Money is tight in this valley of run-down Communist blocks and crumbling plaster houses, but community is tighter.When a largely unemployed father in “A Good Boy” trades his much-needed summer earnings for a hulking satellite dish, everyone knows about it. The same way everyone knows about the shop lady who rests her finger on the scale to drive up the price of cheese in “Galia.” In “Satisfactory Proof,” a budding mathematician completes a prestigious master’s degree in number theory but fails to recognize the patterns of care and compassion everywhere around him. And in the concluding novella, “Cold Snap,” as the town endures freezing temperatures and waits for the central heat to be turned on, the characters we have already met make a satisfying encore appearance—as the brittle cold pushes them to the edge of reason."Phoel transports us to a country where jobs are scarce and men are more in love with their satellite dishes than their wives. Old Mountain is not an easy place to live, but these stories, with their surprising leaps of empathy, make it a pleasure to visit."—Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street"I admire Cynthia Phoel's use of original material, and the skill with which she makes an unfamiliar world real."—Alison Lurie, author of Truth and Consequences...
|Title||:||Cold Snap: Bulgaria Stories|
|Number of Pages||:||208 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Cold Snap: Bulgaria Stories Reviews
Herewith I embark upon the "2011 Eastern European Reading Challenge." (It's an event. Join!) http://www.theblacksheepdances.com/Oh this is good. Each story is better than the last.Usually I prefer reading novels to short stories because when the stories are good, you want them to last longer. But I haven't found much Bulgarian fiction (yet) so I grabbed this. And it's the best book I've read lately. The language is beautiful. The themes are familiar and foreign, accessible and ponderable.The book is structured almost like a rock-n-roll awards show with the early chapters like solo performances and the final chapter like the All-Star Grand Finale with everyone on stage together, even Krastavitza. All the characters come from the same village, Old Mountain. There are aging parents and only children, there's distance and claustrophobia, there are references to "Dallas" the television show, which is not so different from Old Mountain when you think about it. And there's weather: heat waves, cold snaps.This is one of those books you miss when you close it. It is so good."suffering the scorch of comprehension" p. 78
A great collection of short stories set in Bulgaria.
This is a wonderfully wry and moving book about members of a small community in Bulgaria as they struggle to connect and stay afloat.
I found the interconnected stories to have a haunting and evocative quality. The sense of resigned hopelessness that pervades the Bulgarian spirit was as persistent and unrelenting as the smell of cabbage cooking in the kitchen. Still, there are bright flashes of energy, spirit and hope, made all the more valuable because of the contrast. Phoel seemed to be speaking from inside the deepest thoughts of her characters. My appreciation might have been heightened by having lived and worked in Bulgaria and feeling these things with friends and neighbors, but not being able to express them so expertly. I enjoyed this book immensely.
Written by a RPCV in Bulgaria, I read this book when preparing for my PC Response Volunteer assignment in the same country. I connected when many of her short stories, since I served as a Volunteer in a former Soviet Republic five years earlier. However, the stories lost their flair about halfway through this short book. Opt to check this one out versus buying.
This book will transport you to Bulgaria. You will meet unique characters as they struggle in their daily lives in the early post-communist years of the country. It's cold in Bulgaria, as witnessed by the cold snap mentioned in the book's main novella-length story. But when the central heat finally goes on, it brings not only warmth, but hope for the future.
Phoel captures the flavor of Bulgaria well and creates many complex and moving characters. The use of български is sometimes unnecessary and feels a bit flagrant, and the stories vary a little in quality, but it's a solid and worthy read overall.
Very well captured Bulgarian reality...