Best European Fiction 2011
Dalkey Archive Press
Alex Popov

“Plumbers” is Alek Popov’s story that appeared in BEST EUROPEAN FICTION 2011, edited by Aleksander Hemon (Dalkey Archive Press, 2011).   Popov is one of Bulgaria’s most popular contemporary writers, working not only as a novelist but also dramatist, essayist and short-story writer.


Rosie Goldsmith, reviewing the Best European Fiction 2011 anthology for The Independent, wrote: “One of my favourite stories is by Bulgarian writer Alek Popov, set in Germany.  Plumbers” is a clever satire on sex and stereotypes. Osnabruck has been voted the happiest town in Germany. The council has funded a scheme to provide “plumbers” from eastern Europe to “service the pipes of housewives”.  But it’s forced to drop the service, the plumbers return and Osnabruck becomes unhappy again.”


His first novel, the comic satire Mission London, was hugely successful and has been translated into sixteen languages.  It is based on his experiences as Bulgarian cultural attaché in London. The book was filmed in 2010, becoming the most popular Bulgarian film since the revolution of 1990.  It was described by Variety as ‘a breakthrough phenomenon’.


Popov has won the Elias Canetti Prize (for The Black Box), the Helkon Award, the Chudomir Award for satirical prose, the Reading Man Prize and the Ivan Radoev National Prize for Drama.  In 2012 he was elected corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Science in the field of Arts. He serves on the board of Bulgarian PEN and is part of the editorial body of the literary magazine Granta Bulgaria.


His second novel, The Black Box, has been translated into six languages, including English, and was a bestseller in its German edition.

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