Rene Karabash

Photo © Georgi Kazakov for #URBN

Rene Karabash is the pen name of Irena Ivanova (1989) – a writer, a scriptwriter, a theatre director and an actress.

For her leading role in Godless, a film by Ralitza Petrova, she won a number of Best Actress awards at prestigious European festivals: a Silver Leopard at Locarno, The Heart of Sarajevo, an Aluminium Horse in Stockholm and a Golden Rose in Varna. ...

Her first poetic book, Hips and Moths, had launches in London, the University of Cambridge and in Prague. Her poems have been published in various literary anthologies around the world. She is the founder of The Rabbit Hole — an academy for creative writing, which enrolls as instructors some of the most prominent writers, screenwriters and playwrights in the country.

Her debut novel She Who Remains won the prestigious Elias Canetti Literary Award, a nomination for Novel of the Year from 13 Centuries Bulgaria and a nomination for the Peroto national literary award. It was published in 2021 in Egypt by Sefsafa Culture & Publishing.

Her most recent book with short prose, Letters of Omar to his Future Wife, has become a major bestseller.

Rene Karabash also works as a theatre director and a playwright.

She is currently working as a scriptwriter of a new movie series for the Bulgarian National Television.

She Who Remains

164 pages, cover design by Kapka Kaneva

In the outskirts of the Albanian Alps, a girl named Bekia is forced to make a faithful choice in order to survive – she has to renounce her femininity by giving a sacred oath. They cut her hair, she’s dressed in a man’s clothing, she is given a man’s name. The price she will pay for her decision is the loss of her greatest love, the life of her father, and the uprooting and dissolution of her family.

Download excerpt