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American children’s bestseller about a Bulgarian-born sculptor published in Bulgarian language for the first time

Photo: library

The novel Dobry, with childhood stories from the life of Atanas Katchamakoff, who emigrated to the US in the 1920s, is coming out in Bulgarian for the first time. The book by American writer Monica Shannon has undergone multiple editions in USA. In 1935 it won the John Newbery medal – the most prestigious American award for children’s literature, with the US first lady Eleanor Roosevelt a member of the jury.

For many years the book was unknown in Bulgaria, the only available information being about the author of the illustrations – the novel’s protagonist Atanas Katchamakoff, a Bulgarian-born sculptor who emigrated to the US in 1924. There he met talented author Monica Shannon, and when she heard his stories about Bulgaria, about his childhood, his dream of being an artist, she was inspired to write her novel for children.

“The book was published in 1934 under the title Dobry”, the executive director of the 13 Centuries Bulgaria National Endowment Fund Slava Ivanova said for the BNR. It is with the Fund’s help that the book is being published in the Bulgarian language 87 years after its triumph in America. 

Compiled by Gergana Mancheva

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