(1907 - 1979)
Emiliyan Stanev (Nikola Stoyanov Stanev) was born in Veliko Tarnovo. At the beginning of the 1920s, his family moved to the town of Elena. He went to school in Vratsa, studied painting in Sofia, as well as Trade and Finances (at the Free University in Sofia). In 1932-1944, he was a clerk at the Municipality in Sofia, and in 1945 – a forester in the village of Bukovets, Lovech region. In 1950-1955, Emiliyan Stanev was in charge of the Belles-lettres department at the Literaturen front newspaper. In 1931 he had started contributing to a number of journals and magazines: Sadba, Zaveti, Zlatorog, Izkustvo i kritika, Venets, Balgarska rech, etc.

His works include animalistic prose, short stories on social and ethical problems, novellas and historical novels. Among his better known books are Primamlivi blyasatsi [Attractive gleams] (1938), Sami [Alone] (1940), Valchi noshti [Woolf Nights] (1943), Delnitsi i praznitsi [Working Days and Holidays] (1945), Diva ptitsa [A Wild Bird] (1946), V tiha vecher [On a Quiet Evening] (1948), Kradetsat na praskovi [ The Peach Thief] (1948), Ivan Kondarev (1958-1964; the novel interprets the events related to the September uprising of 1923), Legenda za Sibin, preslavskiya knyaz [A Legend about Sibin, the Prince of Preslav] (1968), Antihrist [Antichrist] (1970), Tarnovskata tsaritsa [The Queen of Tarnovo] (1974), etc. He was also an author of children’s literature: Prez vodi i gori [Across Seas and Woods] (1943), Lakomoto meche [The Greedy Bear Cub] (1944), Povest za edna gora [The Story of a Forest] (1948), Kogato skrezhat se topi [When the Frost Melts Down] (1950), Chernishka (1950), etc. Philosophical issues such as man and nature, individual – society – power, personal history and collective history, etc. are central to his writing.

Emiliyan Stanev was awarded the Yordan Yovkov National Prize in 1975.

His writing has been used in film-making: Kradetsat na praskovi [The Peach Thief] (1964, directed by Valo Radev), Ivan Kondarev (1974, directed by Nikola Korabov), and Tarnovskata tsaritsa [The Queen of Tarnovo] (1981, directed by Yanko Yankov) are classics of the Bulgarian cinema.

Emiliyan Stanev’s works have been translated into English by Marguerite Alexieva, Todor Kirov, Elena Mladenova, Zdravko Stankov, Radost Pridham and Jean Morris.


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All spellings; Станев, Емилиян ; Stanev, Emilian; Stanew, Emilijan; Stanev, Emiliyan