“Zaharieva packs several genres into one, including but not limited to pastoral idyll, sexual coming-of-age story, and feminist memoir. Ultimately, she presents life in all its messiness and possibility, vivid enough for the reader to almost taste.”—Publishers Weekly
"Lyrical and magical...Filled with nostalgia, [the novel's] recipes beg to be made. Eccentric instructions and all."—Pop-Break
"Characters are portrayed in a stark light exposing their neediness, their unflattering traits, and, as the novel progresses, their hard-fought wisdom. . . It’s rare for me to recommend a novel on the strength of its wisdom, but time and again I found myself nodding appreciably as Manda moves towards a uniquely feminine Zen understanding of herself."—Heavy Feather Review
In Bulgaria during the height of communism in the 1960s, six year-old Manda survives her cruel grandmother and rural poverty by finding sheer delight in the world—plump vegetables, garden gnomes, and darkened attic corners. The young Manda endures severe beatings, seemingly indestructible. But as a middle-aged artist in newly democratic Bulgaria, she desperately tries to feed her damaged soul.
9 Rabbits was a bestselling title in Bulgaria when it was released in 2008. As with Black Balloon's spring 2013 title, Our Man in Iraq,Nine Rabbits is an exceptional English language translation of literary fiction from an underrepresented country fraught with political and social instability. Literary critics have labeled Zaharieva a brilliant representative of Bulgarian ecriture feminine.
Virginia Zaharieva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1959. She is a writer, psychotherapist, feminist, and mother. Her novel Nine Rabbits is among the most celebrated Bulgarian books to appear over the past two decades and the first of Zaharieva's work made available in North America.
Angela Rodel is an award-winning translator. Born and educated in the United States with degrees in linguistics from Yale and the University of California, Los Angeles, she currently resides in Sofia, Bulgaria.
"I know of few books that explore the workings of psychological and cultural legacies as fearlessly... The boldness of Nine Rabbitsis expressed in its narrative virtuosity as well, for it blends memoir, recipes, alternative endings, references to popular Western culture, koans, dreams, diary entries and verse."—Rob Neufeld, The Asheville Citizen-Times
“A remarkable, untraditional novel about a universal story: one woman’s quest to create—and maintain—her own identity… Told through a series of beautifully written short chapters, Nine Rabbits is a moving tale of one woman’s struggle to identify not as one part of herself, but as a whole, complex being. While the novel certainly addresses some heavy topics, Zaharieva moves through each scene with the ease of an old friend sharing stories over a long, boozy dinner, making Nine Rabbits read more like a memoir than a novel, and making Manda seem less like a character and more like the fully-realized woman she strives to be."—Cedar Rapids Gazette