Georgi Gospodinov (Harriman Writer in Residence Fall ’22) talks about his Booker Prize-winning novel Time Shelter in an exclusive interview with Waterstones, Gospodinov addresses the genesis of the novel, the importance of he prize for Bulgarian literature, and the difficulties of translating the novel.
Your novel Time Shelter is concerned with many things, but primarily, with memory. What are your favorite books that deal with this subject?
Georgi Gospodinov: Of course, when it comes to memory, Marcel Proust and In Search of Lost Time is the first teacher, a teacher of memory and of writing. This book is like the “madeleine” described in the beginning of that book. Borges is also a very important author for me, the short story ‘Funes the Memorious’ is one of the best things I have read. Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain was also constantly by my side. It’s impossible to write a serious novel today that doesn’t come into conversation with that huge book, a mountain of a book. It’s also present in some way in Time Shelter.