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Vanya Yordanova and the worlds she depicts in her books

Photo: personal archive

Vanya Yordanova is young, talented and loves to depict worlds. A small part of them are included in her first collection of poems Risuvam mechti” (“I Draw Dreams”), which was published in 2021. Recently, her first collection of short stories – “Vezbi v sarceto” ("Heart Embroidery") was released on the book market in Bulgaria. In it, as if using a time machine, Vanya takes us to the times of the Bulgarian National Revival in order to recreate the magic of the old Bulgarian crafts, the personal stories and emotions of our ancestors. Vanya Yordanova is also a teacher of Spanish in Sofia's 157th High School "César Vallejo". She has a master’s degree in cultural tourism and is a person who deeply loves her homeland.

Vanya Yordanova showed vivid interest in words even when she was still a child, but as Vanya herself says: "I never imagined that one day I would be able to reach so many people with my words". The first reviews of her new book have been more than encouraging. The inspiration for the book was born ten years ago, when Vanya studied "Cultural Tourism" at the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". The desire intensified after she spent some time in her husband's old family home in the vicinity of the town of Elena. Vanya wrote a large part of her stories there - on the porch of the house, in the silence and coolness of the Balkan Mountain.

"The lifestyle of modern people is different and increasingly distant from the times when crafts flourished. However, feelings and emotions are something that modern young people also experience. It is no coincidence that the title of my collection of stories is called ‘Heart Embroidery’, because in this way I try to direct the reader to the feelings of the characters. Love is always with us, no matter which century we live in, but during the time period that I am describing, love was impossible between certain classes. For example, I have a story about a poor girl who falls in love with the son of a rich farmer, but the father does not allow them to marry. The two have to go through a lot of vicissitudes to be together, but often such a thing was impossible."

Today's young people are always in a hurry, they want everything to happen today, here and now and in this way the satisfaction of achieving their aspirations is lost. That is why Vanya Yordanova appeals to the modern world to slow down

"Let's pause for a moment and search for our roots. This is what I tried to do with great love in my book. There is are reasons to be proud that we are Bulgarians, that we are a strong and rich nation – rich with our history, with our nature and traditions, with our strong spirit. I believe that by going back to the past, we can better understand what we had and what we can have."

By following their roots, some day a large part of the Bulgarians who are now scattered around the world will find their way back - both physically and spiritually and will return to their homeland, Vanya Yordanova says. As a Spanish teacher, she tries to pass on her philosophy to her students, who after graduating school often choose to go abroad, but with the promise to return.

Vanya Yordanova with readers

"As early as the 11th grade, they start researching the possibilities of attending universities abroad, but many decide to stay and choose professions that they can practice here," she says.

Vanya Yordanova also looks to the future and plans to publish a novel next year, based on her latest collection of short stories. At the backdrop of the historical context in Bulgaria of the 18th and 19th centuries, she will reveal the small human stories and the home comfort of the ordinary Bulgarian family.

English: Al. Markov

Photos: Personal archive of Vanya Yordanova and Krasimir Martinov

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