Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle in Bulgarian

I am very excited to share that I will be translating into Bulgarian the novel “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” by Irish author Roddy Doyle. I don’t remember exactly why a year or so ago the book grabbed my attention, but after I finished reading it, I was dead sure I had to convince Ergo Books Publishing to get the translation rights. Thanks to owner of Ergo Books and publisher extraordinaire Martin Hristov and his sincere efforts throughout the last year, I hope that the book will reach the Bulgarian readers around the end of 2024.

Roddy Doyle. Photo: © Anthony Woods
Роди Дойл. Photo: © Anthony Woods

“Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” won the Booker Prize in 1993. In one of his recollections about writing it (Writing Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, The Guardian, 29 Aug 2009), Doyle talks more about the book’s structure, the chronological internal journey of its main character, ten-year-old Paddy:

There was no plot yet, but that didn’t worry me. I thought of Fellini’s Amarcord, and how it meanders through a year, spring to the following spring. The year is the plot; anything stricter would destroy that film – and it’s my favourite film. So I just kept writing.

Which, even without knowing about the source of his inspiration, was one of the things that piqued my interest, and, I believe, would do the same for its new readers.

The story of Paddy is as close to real life as it can be, starting with “the absence of a clear-cut plot (introduction, complication, climax, dénouement),” and “a register that gives the reader the vivid impression of listening to a ten-year-old Irish boy from the 1960s.” (By the way, on account of the book’s language, or the aforementioned “register,” I think one of its covers, shown below, is a riot.)

The Bulgarian translation of “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” (I smile every time I have to write this title) is supported by Literature Ireland. Read an excerpt from it in Bulgarian by following me on Buy me a coffee, where I’ve published the translation sample we used for our application (but if this seems too much of an effort for you, just drop me an e-mail of course).