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The English Neighbour 
Автор: Михаил Вешим /Mikhail Veshim
Раздел: Българска художествена литература на чужди езици
Издателство: Сиела
Народност: българска
Преводач: Milena Bullock and Simon Bullock
ISBN: 9789542818120
първо издание, 2015 год.
меки корици, 190 стр.
Цена: 15,00 лв  
The English Neighbor is the incredibly funny and entertaining story of the clash and fusion between cultures in today’s age of globalization.

The story is set in the fictitious village of Plodorodno (“fertile” in English). With Bulgaria’s opening to the world, many of its residents have left abroad to earn money, and others hope to win from the lottery instead of start tilling the fertile land nearby. One fine day, a true Englishman, John, buys a house in the village and settles there. He is a retired chemical engineer, yearning for the tranquility of a rural life in the countryside. He has chosen Bulgaria because he came to the Bulgarian seaside several times and has even taken a Bulgarian language course. He dreams of tilling the land on his won, of planting tomatoes and peppers, and breeding his own cattle. And while John is delighted to go deeper into the joys of Bulgarian rustic life, his Bulgarian neighbor Nikolai has renamed himself to Nottingham Forest and has even named his cattle after world football stars.

“The idea for this book struck me quite by chance in a conversation with a man from the village of Kamchia near Varna, Veshim explains. He told me that an Englishman had settled in a neighboring village. This was some 6 or 7 years ago, when a lot of Englishmen started purchasing houses in Bulgaria. So, the subject of the English Queen was a hardworking guy who bought a tractor and started tilling the land while locals preferred to stay in the pub, to drink beer and to try and talk him out of farming. However, the Englishman was unable to understand why they are unwilling to toil in the fields and consider agriculture a lost cause. And finally he proves them that one can make profits from agriculture. This story never came out of my mind. So I told it in various forms – first in a feuilleton in the Starshel newspaper, then in a radio play on the Bulgarian National Radio, in a screenplay for a TV series and finally, when the realization of the series was delayed, I wrote the novel. The humor in the book derives from the encounter between two clashing views of life. I seem to have felt something very important and that is why I managed to paint a vivid and interesting picture, but my sense of humor is well-meant. I do not issue judgments, I do not reproach one character or another, this is not a satirical novel. It is a comic book and it is deeply Bulgarian. It is a novel about us, Bulgarians. The Englishman is simply the looking glass in which we see our reflection”, the writer says.

The English Neighbor shows us some very vivid characters. The mayor, for example, has quite original ideas for investments such as making a replica of Hyde Park or a golf course on Bulgarian soil. At the end of the book, we understand that three Japanese families who know how to make the world-famous Bulgarian yoghurt have arrived to live in the village of Plodorodno so Bulgarian and Japanese children as well as John’s grandchildren will be studying at the local school. And also the grandchildren of the mayor from his son’s marriage with a Vietnamese woman. On the other hand, locals live on four continents. “The world is a global village!”, the mayor of the village of Plodorodno recaps.
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