Photo: Bart Michiels

Miroslav Penkov was born in 1982 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. When he was four, his family moved to the capital city of Sofia, where he graduated from First English Language High School. He moved to America in 2001 and completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology, followed by an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas.

His stories, translated in over twenty languages, have won the BBC International Short Story Award 2012 and The Southern Review’s Eudora Welty Prize and have appeared in A Public Space, Granta, One Story, Orion, The Sunday Times, The Best American Short Stories 2008, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013.

EAST OF THE WEST, his first book, was published in the U.S. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and in seventeen other countries. It was a finalist for the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and the Steven Turner Award for First Fiction by the Texas Institute of Letters. In Bulgaria his own translation of the stories was published by Ciela under the title На изток от Запада and became the #1 best-selling Bulgarian book of 2012.

In 2014-15, Miroslav was mentored by Michael Ondaatje as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

His debut novel, STORK MOUNTAIN, written in English and Bulgarian, was published in 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US, by Sceptre in the UK and by Ciela in Bulgaria under the title Щъркелите и планината.

His story "A Picture With Yuki" was made into a feature film. A Bulgarian-Japanese co-production, the film was directed by Luchezar Avramov and starred Kiki Sugino, Ruscen Vidinliev, Dimiter Marinov (Green Book), and Bulgarian Olympic boxing legend Serafim Todorov. The film premiered at the Sofia International Film Festival in March 2019 where it received the Audience Award for films from the International and the Balkan competitions.

Miroslav is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Texas.



Literary Agent:
Nicole Aragi
(212) 675-8353

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For inquires regarding
East of the West
Sorche Fairbank
(617) 576-0030

Биография на български


Site: Miroslav Penkov / Мирослав Пенков