Indigo Press is to publish Arrival by Bulgarian author Nataliya Deleva, a novel exploring domestic abuse, interlaced with folk tales.
The synopsis explains: "Arrival is literary fiction, a story of domestic abuse; the unnamed narrator moves to London from Bulgaria to escape her abusive father, has a child and leaves the child’s father after feeling bullied into a new life with him. Lyrical and moving, it is interspersed with folk tales and flashbacks. The plot centres on the child’s eye view of her mother being repeatedly assaulted by her father, with the child feeling powerless to prevent the attacks. It examines her sense of shame and guilt, and her anxiety over perpetuating the cycle of abuse/failure. The folk tales lend a universality and timeslessness to the storyline, the mythical samodivi of Bulgaria representing the spirit of abused women everywhere."
Publisher Susie Nicklin acquired world rights to Arrival, the author's second novel, directly from the author. Deleva's first novel, Four Minutes, is being translated from Bulgarian by Izidora Angel, and will be published by Open Letter in the US in September 2021.
Nicklin said: "Nataliya’s writing is poetic and an astonishing achievement given that English is her third or fourth language. She reminds me of Sasha Hemon, revelling in a combination of enjoyment and restraint vis a vis her adopted tongue. I love the sounds and tastes of London seen through the eyes of a recent immigrant, and the contrast between the way an Eastern European assimilates into the city compared with other recent arrivals whom she encounters. I also love the sensuality of the Bulgarian sections, and particularly the passages about her grandparents and their lives in the mountains. It is fragmentary, haunting, delicate yet strong, full of images like mirror shards, bruising, welts, and also sensory enjoyment such as wine, cigarettes, food, music, dancing and sex."
Deleva was born in Bulgaria and now lives in London. Her debut novel was originally published in Bulgaria (Janet 45, 2017), where the book was awarded Best Debut Novel and was shortlisted for Novel of the Year (2018). It has since been translated into German (eta Verlag, 2018), English (Open Letter Books, 2021) and Polish (Wydawnictwo EZOP, 2021). Her short fiction, reviews and essays have appeared in Words Without Borders, Fence, Asymptote, Empty Mirror, Granta Bulgaria, and the anthology Stories from the 90s (ICU Publishing, 2019) among others.
Arrival is to be published in February 2022, in B-format paperback with flaps.