The white prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s secret story by Ognian Georgiev

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Olympic Gold Medalist and 1999 Athlete of the Year, Galabin Boevski’s career was fraught with difficulties and trials from the very beginning. As a young boy growing up in Pleven, Bulgaria, Boevski’s dream was to become a professional football player. His small size, however, would prevent this dream from becoming a reality, and it was only by a chance encounter that the future champion was introduced to the sport of weightlifting.

The struggles continue throughout his training career and competitions, where the cut-throat politics and corrupt hierarchy in the sport lead to multiple accusations of doping that prevent him from competing against his well-matched (and well-sponsored) competitors.

But still Boevski manages to rise above the challenges, winning Athlete of the Year in 1999, as well as receiving the titles of World Champion and European Champion multiple times over. In the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, on an injured knee, Boevski wins the gold medal in the lightweight class.

In October 2011, Boevski was arrested at an airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after being caught with 9 kilos of cocaine in his suitcase. His career is forever marred by the unfortunate event, which he and his family vehemently insist as being a setup, and he serves several years in a special prison for foreigners in Itai before being released on ‘expulsao’.
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Review of Age of Desire by Jennie Fields

For fans of The Paris Wife, a sparkling glimpse into the life of Edith Wharton and the scandalous love affair that threatened her closest friendship

They say behind every great man is a woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann—her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nurturing friend.

When at the age of forty-five, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith’s marriage crumbles and Anna’s disapproval threatens to shatter their lifelong bond, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships.

Told through the points of view of both women, The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton’s early Gilded Age world: Paris with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret cafés, the Whartons’ elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James’s manse in Rye, England.

Edith’s real letters and intimate diary entries are woven throughout the book. The Age of Desire brings to life one of literature’s most beloved writers, whose own story was as complex and nuanced as that of any of the heroines she created.

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Review of Z: A Novel Of Zelda Fitzgerald

 

 

 

 

I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we’re ruined, Look closer…and you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.
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Review of Nom De Plume by Carmela Ciuraru

From the publisher: 

What’s in a name?

In our “look at me” era, everyone’s a brand. Privacy now seems a quaint relic, and self-effacement is a thing of the past. Yet, as Nom de Plume reminds us, this was not always the case. Exploring the fascinating stories of more than a dozen authorial impostors across several centuries and cultures, Carmela Ciuraru plumbs the creative process and the darker, often crippling aspects of fame.

Biographies have chronicled the lives of pseudonymous authors such as Mark Twain, Isak Dinesen, and George Eliot, but never before have the stories behind many noms de plume been collected into a single volume. These are narratives of secrecy, obsession, modesty, scandal, defiance, and shame: Only through the protective guise of Lewis Carroll could a shy, half-deaf Victorian mathematician at Oxford feel free to let his imagination run wild. The “three weird sisters” (as they were called by the poet Ted Hughes) from Yorkshire–the Brontes–produced instant bestsellers that transformed them into literary icons, yet they wrote under the cloak of male authorship. Bored by her aristocratic milieu, a cigar-smoking, cross-dressing baroness rejected the rules of propriety by having sexual liaisons with men and women alike, publishing novels and plays under the name George Sand.

Grounded by research yet highly accessible and engaging, these provocative, astonishing stories reveal the complex motives of writers who harbored secret identities–sometimes playfully, sometimes with terrible anguish and tragic consequences. A wide-ranging examination of pseudonyms both familiar and obscure, Nom de Plume is part detective story, part expose, part literary history, and an absorbing psychological meditation on identity and creativity. Continue reading “Review of Nom De Plume by Carmela Ciuraru”