Georgi Tenev

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Georgi Tenev
Born 9 October 1969
Sofia, Bulgaria
Nationality Bulgarian
Occupation novelist, short story writer, playwright

Georgi Tenev (born 9 October 1969, Sofia, Bulgaria) is a Bulgarian novelist, short story writer, playwright and film/TV screenwriter.[1]

Major topics in Tenev’s works are the cultural and ideological void in the post-totalitarian societies and the consequent emerging of counter-cultures; the fall of utopias and the social amnesias. Recurring narratives in his novels and plays are also quasi-religion and disbelief, barbarism and revolution, the Holocaust, problem of evil, theodicy. In his recent writings he often addresses environmental issues.

His collection Holy Light (Altera, 2009) is a book of science fiction short stories featuring mainly issues of political correctness/incorrectness and biopolitics treated in a provocative way: racism, ownership over human’s reproductive functions, sexual difference, discrimination, violence. Other topics addressed in the story collection are pain and eroticism and different political and cultural values attributed to sexuality. In 2010 translator Angela Rodel was awarded with a PEN Translation Fund Grant to support the translation of the book.[2]

Tenev’s novel Party Headquarters (Altera 2007) deals with the social paradoxes of the post-communist Bulgarian society. The key metaphor here is the Chernobyl disaster. It won the Vick Foundation Award for Novel of the Year (2007).[3] "Georgi Tenev examines the most recent past by avoiding taboos and using distinct words – it is a philosophical dealing with memory which uses powerful imagery." [4]

In August 2011 "Returning to the Hague" [5] from the Holy Light collection was published in the online edition of Granta. "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" from the same collection appeared in 2014 Issue of Bat City Review.

Wittenberg Revisited is Georgi Tenev and Ivan Dobchev’s "intelligent Stoppardian appropriation of Hamlet"[6] premiered in 2011.[7] The play received the National Literature Prize „Elias Canetti“ 2013[8]. This "local spin-off" by Georgi Tenev and Ivan Dobchev "testify to Shakespeare’s permeation in Bulgarian culture"[9].

Tenev co-wrote the script for Alienation (Otchuzhdenie); the film premiered internationally in the Official Selection of Venice Days ('le Giornate degli Autori') in the frame of the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival. By the end of the year 2013 Alienation won four international awards.[10]


Books by Tenev include:[11]

  • Georgi Tenev (2000). Strakhŭt na rezidenta ot otzovavane: proza i dramaturgii︠a︡. Zelena vŭlna. ISBN 978-954-9695-14-4.
  • Georgi Tenev (2004). Book One of Vunderkind: roman. Karamazovi variacii. Triumviratus. ISBN 978-954-91097-2-6.
  • Georgi Tenev (2005). Christo, Castro and Free Love. T.A.G. ISBN 978-954-9475-01-2. Altera 2008 trilingual edition - ISBN 978-954-9757-17-0
  • Party Headquarters (2007) ISBN 954-91792-3-0
  • Party Headquarters translated by Angela Rodel
  • Georgi Tenev (2010). Casa del Partido (Traducción de Francisco Javier Juez Gálvez). Baile del Sol. ISBN 978-84-15-01926-8.


  • Alienation (2013), (co-written with M.Lazarov, K.Todorov); director: Milko Lazarov; with Christos Stergioglou, Mariana Zhikich. World premiere at the 10th edition of Venice Days (Venice Film Festival), Official Selection;[12] winning the FEDORA Award (Federation of Film Critics of Europe) and special mention of the "Europe Cinemas Label". Awarded The KCB Award for 'Best Bulgarian feature' at the 17th Sofia International Film Festival.[13] Grand prize in the "1–2 competition" at the 29th Warsaw International Film Festival, “for the unadorned and poetic narration of a fundamental theme.[14]
  • Houben Paints Money (2012),[15] documentary; writer and director.
  • Holy Light (2010),[16] writer and director.


  1. ^ "Contemporary Bulgarian writers".
  2. ^ "PEN American Center - 2010 PEN Translation Fund Grant Recipients". Archived from the original on 2010-06-08.
  3. ^ "Vick Foundation. Vick Prize for the Bulgarian Novel of the Year. Winner 2007".
  4. ^ "Parteipalast. Auszüge aus dem Roman". Kakanien Revisited. 2007.
  5. ^ "Returning to the Hague. Love in times of political upheaval". Granta. Online Only.
  6. ^ Niagolov, Georgi (July 1, 2016). "Demythologizing and remythologizing Shakespeare in the context of Bulgarian politics". Cahiers Élisabéthains: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies.
  7. ^ Драматургия АСКЕЕР 2012 Номинации за съвременна българска драматургия. Sofia: Фондация "А'Аскеер". 2012. ISBN 978-954-8649-09-4.
  8. ^ "ELIAS CANETTI PRIZE WINNERS". International Elias Canetti Society.
  9. ^ Dobson (Editor),, Michael; Sokolova, Boika (2015). The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198708735.
  10. ^ "Europa Cinemas: Special mention for Milko Lazarov's ALIENATION'".
  11. ^ "Books by Georgi Tenev". Google books. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  12. ^ "ALIENATION di Milko Lazarov, Giornate degli Autori".
  13. ^ "SIFF 2013 awards".
  14. ^ "Awards at the 29th Warsaw Film Festival, jury laudatio".
  15. ^ "Houben Paints Money at the Internet Movie Database".
  16. ^ "Holy Light at the Internet Movie Database".

External links[edit]