Bulgarian New Social Poetry Magazine‘s “Anthology III” includes a chapter excerpt from a short novel I am currently working on. The chapter’s title is “We Are with The People’s Militia.” It details an episode from the events in the novel in December, 1985, during a months-long surveillance of the underground criminal environment in the capital city of Sofia, Bulgaria, only 4 years before the fall of the communist regime.
Coda Impex, the novel in question, was supposed to be an easy gig. Then, in the middle of 2021, I stopped writing it and went into my own world of introspection. Believe it or not, the breaking point was a description of a tango encounter between two people in a dive bar somewhere in Managua City, a place I’ve never visited and probably never will.
In the recent months, while reviewing all of my projects currently marked as “in progress,” Coda Impex struck me as very translatable into English. It will be a short piece, not much more than 40-50,000 words. It’s regional but relatable. The characters inhabiting its world have a universal human drive for happiness properly distorted by the horrible, hauntingly pervasive place and time they live in. There’s no hope for them in the foreseeable future, even as I, the reader, have the inside knowledge that something they can’t even imagine is going to happen just a few years after the events they take their part in: the end of an era.
I am enamored by this novel and its crackpot narrator. (And don’t even get me started on him and his reasons to write it in the first place.)
Anthology III (Антология III, 2022) is published by New Social Poetry Magazine (сп. Нова социална поезия). You’ll find much more interesting authors and their work in its table of contents, in case I’ve given you the wrong impression that my little chapter excerpt is the main feature in it. Go check them out!