Georgi Gospodinov of Bulgaria wins International Booker Prize for ‘Time Shelter’

Georgi Gospodinov’s captivating novel, “Time Shelter,” translated by Angela Rodel, has achieved a momentous feat by securing the esteemed 2023 International Booker Prize. This remarkable accomplishment marks the first time a Bulgarian novel has been honored with this renowned literary award.

A Brilliant Exploration of Memory and Destiny

Gospodinov’s “Time Shelter” delivers a profound narrative that skillfully delves into the contemporary implications when our memories begin to fade. Seamlessly weaving together individual and collective destinies, the novel offers a poignant reflection on the delicate balance between the personal and the universal.

The Intriguing Premise of “Time Shelter”

At the core of the novel lies the concept of a “clinic for the past,” serving as a refuge for Alzheimer’s patients seeking solace in recaptured memories. Each floor of the clinic meticulously reconstructs a different decade, allowing patients to relive moments from their personal histories. However, as the story unfolds, the boundaries between time and reality become blurred, as the past encroaches upon the present.

A Story Inspired by a Disrupted World

Gospodinov’s inspiration for writing “Time Shelter” stems from a sense of disorder in the fabric of time itself. Influenced by global events such as the rise of populism and the aftermath of Brexit, the author explores how the past can be manipulated as a tool for political agendas. Through his narrative, Gospodinov examines the challenges of living in a world where meaning and a clear future seem elusive.

Recognitions and Acclaim for “Time Shelter”

Originally published in Bulgarian in 2020, “Time Shelter” quickly garnered attention, soaring to the top of book charts and receiving the prestigious Strega European prize. Its success both domestically and internationally showcases the novel’s profound impact and universal appeal.

The Literary World Embraces “Time Shelter”

Since its publication in Bulgarian in 2020, “Time Shelter” has been embraced by the literary community with open arms. The novel quickly gained recognition and captivated readers and critics alike. It soared to the top of bestseller lists, both domestically and internationally, solidifying its position as a remarkable literary achievement.

The novel’s success was further reinforced by receiving the prestigious Strega European prize, a distinguished accolade that recognizes outstanding works of European literature. This recognition highlights the exceptional artistry and profound impact of “Time Shelter” on the literary landscape.

A Universally Resonant Narrative

The universal appeal of “Time Shelter” lies in its ability to touch the hearts and minds of readers from various cultural backgrounds. Gospodinov’s exploration of memory, destiny, and the fragile nature of time strikes a chord with audiences, evoking contemplation and introspection.

The novel’s thematic richness, coupled with its masterful storytelling and compelling characters, has garnered critical acclaim and accolades. It continues to captivate readers worldwide, firmly establishing Georgi Gospodinov as a notable voice in contemporary literature.


Georgi Gospodinov’s “Time Shelter” stands as a testament to the author’s exceptional talent and storytelling prowess. With its thought-provoking exploration of memory, its captivating narrative, and its universal resonance, the novel has not only won the prestigious International Booker Prize but also earned its rightful place among the literary canon. “Time Shelter” will undoubtedly continue to inspire and leave a lasting impact on readers for years to come.

Time Shelter – FAQs

Q1: Why is Georgi Gospodinov winning the International Booker Prize significant?

Ans: It’s remarkable that Georgi Gospodinov won the International Booker Prize because it’s the first time a Bulgarian book has won such a renowned literary award. It demonstrates the expanding acceptance of Bulgarian literature on a global scale and exemplifies Gospodinov’s extraordinary storytelling abilities.

Q2: Who translated ‘Time Shelter’ into English?

Ans: ‘Time Shelter’ was translated into English by Angela Rodel. Her translation played a crucial role in bringing the novel to a wider global audience and enabling readers to experience Gospodinov’s work in English.

Q3: How has ‘Time Shelter’ been received by readers and critics?

Ans: Both readers and critics have given “Time Shelter” favourable reviews. Its engaging characters, rich conceptual content, and thought-provoking story have enthralled audiences. The novel has received praise in part due to its universal relevance and capacity to stimulate reflection.


  • Pritipalit

    Priti Palit, an accomplished edtech writer, boasts a wealth of experience in preparing candidates for multiple government exams. With a passion for education and a keen eye for detail, she has contributed significantly to the field of online learning. Priti's expertise and dedication continue to empower aspiring individuals in their pursuit of success in government examinations.

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