Sofia Literary Agency

Sofia Literary Agency represents Bulgarian authors and titles in the field of literary fiction, poetry and children’s books.

Bold and visionary, Rene Karabash’s novel unfurls a world of blood feuds and sworn virgins – women accepted into society as men – in a dreamlike narration that burns up the page with feverish urgency.
– Katrina Dodson, Judge 2023 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation

Novel, 165 pages, 2018


She Who Remains is a meditation on womanhood, love, family and honor, written almost entirely in a non-linear stream of consciousness. The primary setting is a remote village in the Albanian mountains still ruled by the Kanun where a woman’s worth is measured in oxen while men settle scores with shotguns. Bekija, whose gender fluidity is rooted deep into her being, is secretly in love with a Bulgarian girl, but is arranged to marry a man. Her only way of escaping the marriage is to take a vow of chastity and become a man in the eyes of the law — a so-called sworn virgin. In a matter of hours, Bekija becomes Matija. However, Bekija isn’t the only person to disappear — her decision to call off the wedding destroys her family. The text is deliberately ambiguous, possessing a fluidity at the line level which underscores the all-at-onceness of Bekija/Matija’s identity. This is a powerful, lyrical work that approaches the concept of gender in visceral, almost primal ways and inevitably discusses the consequences, stemming from deeply-rooted patriarchal traditions.
— Izidora Angel

cover design by Kapka kaneva

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