September 10, 2021 – A meeting with writers Irina Papancheva and Ali Bader (Iraq /Belgium) took place on September 9th in the gallery of the new Regional library Peyo Yavorov. The event was organized by the Municipality of Burgas in partnership with Peyo Yavorov Regional library.
The topic of the conversation with a moderator Petya Yanakieva, a journalist at the Bulgarian National Radio, was writing as a process and a way of living. The two authors shared their experience and excerpts from their works, which have not been published in Bulgaria yet were read – from the story “The Good Girl and the Bad Reader of Marx” by Ali Bader (in translation of Irina Papancheva} and from the novel “Brussels Naked” by Irina Papancheva.
“This is a unique novel because the action in each chapter is told through someone else’s eyes. It’s interesting to see Brussels through the eyes of a person who came from Eastern Europe. It was interesting to read about the place where I live,” said Ali Bader about “Brussels Naked.”
“Irina has been an emotional literary friend of mine for decades. She told me about her acquaintance with Ali Bader. And now I am glad that we have the opportunity to get acquainted with Iraqi literature,” said Diana Savateva, deputy mayor for culture, tourism and sports at Burgas Municipality at the beginning of the meeting.
“I am glad to be able to contribute to the presentation of Ali Bader in Bulgaria. He is a very interesting and provocative author. I have read several of his works that have left their mark on me with their ironic view of Iraqi society as well as the Arab community in Brussels, the ease of narration, the persuasiveness of the characters with their beliefs, desires, shortcomings, and disappointments. I also like his essays and poetry,” said Irina Papancheva, who translated excerpts from the Iraqi writer’s works from English for the upcoming meeting.
“Among a few writers, Papancheva does not respond to the literary fashions of the world, the writings of magical realism, or extreme poetics, or the writings of political criticism after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She has preserved the authenticity of her voice. She stuck with her way of narrating.
Papancheva’s works are written with high accuracy and elegance, the feather of an artist, who has worked for a long time on the selection of words, refinement of phrases, the purity and clarity of the language. She chooses her characters from life, characters who face a world full of mystery and contradictions. The events in her works proceed with a lot of fluidity and continue steadily until they reach their climax. Papancheva does not rely on the element of surprise but tries to make her work calm and consistent. In the end, there is a brilliantly drawn world, where we walk with the characters and events easily and quietly without losing patience,” wrote Ali Bader in a chapter devoted to Irina Papancheva in a new manuscript focused on writers.