Publication Date: October 2015
52 pages, 5.3” x 7”
For strong bones, the old wives recommend blood of a blackbird in a pot of fresh yogurt. She heard ribs grind and straighten, heard them knit together. The cat’s ruptured stomach stitched itself whole, skin and fur slid back into place. The lungs reinflated.
The White Swallow has so many things going for it — starkly memorable imagery, strangeness that feels natural to the story, the feeling that the story itself grew up from the earth like a tree, and an ending that defies moralization. It seems instead to reflect the same unpredictable and mysterious quality of the world that also lets birds go into girls and healing to occur and, for inside all that, love to blossom.
— Aimee Bender, judge of the 2014 Fiction Chapbook Competition
Anna Kovatcheva is a brilliant young talent. Her prose is effervescent, toughly lyric, sensuous and sharp-eyed. The White Swallow is so fluently written, one can virtually feel the swallow's wings beating. And the story of the intense friendship of young girls, realized virtually in front of their elders' (unseeing) eyes, is a small miracle, tragically curtailed. But the narrator survives—in language that is a flight of its own.
— Joyce Carol Oates
Anna Kovatcheva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and holds an MFA in fiction writing from New York University. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, and Kenyon Review Online. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she works as a graphic designer by day and writes of Bulgaria by night.
Book design by Diana Arterian.