Sofia Literary Agency

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

A rich combination of political machinations, court intrigue, and the feel of get-this secret-telling and gossip, the book raises big historical – and still timely – questions about the tensions between East and West.
– Nina MacLaughlin, The Boston Globe

Novel, 410 pages, 1967


The Case of Cem tells a straightforward tale: upon the death of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1481, his eldest son Bayezid takes the throne. Discontented factions within the Ottoman army urge Mehmed’s second son Cem, a well-educated and experienced soldier, to oppose his brother’s ascension and to suggest the two split the empire. Bayezid refuses, setting off a ruthless power struggle. Cem is forced into long years of exile and finds himself essentially a hostage, a pawn for European powers as they try to slow the Ottoman Empire’s expansion. Cem dies in Neapoli in 1495 under mysterious circumstances. The story is presented as a series of depositions by historical figures before a court, bringing medieval history and modern “courtroom drama” together in a way that is extremely experimental for Bulgarian literature of the time. The one character who never speaks directly to the court is Cem himself – he remains silent. The closest we get to Cem is through the Persian poet Saadi, Cem’s companion and erstwhile lover. Saadi is hands down the most sympathetic character in the book, leading to
wonder how Mutafchieva managed to get such positive queer representation past the communist censors of that era. Perhaps because Saadi was Persian and not Bulgarian?
Angela Rodel,

cover design by Luba Haleva

Към началото