Elizabeth Kostova was born in Connecticut in 1964. She is the author of three novels: The Historian (Little, Brown, 2005), The Swan Thieves (Little, Brown, 2010) and The Shadow Land (Random House, 2017). The Historian was the first debut novel in U.S. publishing history to have been translated into 40 languages, debut at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and won Quill and Independent Bookseller Awards. The Swan Thieves was also a New York Times Bestseller and has been translated into 28 languages. Her short fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in such periodicals and anthologies as The Mississippi Review, Poets & Writers Magazine, The Best American Poetry, The Michigan Quarterly and Another Chicago Magazine.
She teaches, reads and lectures nationally and internationally, and is co-founder of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, which provides competitive opportunities for Bulgarian writers and translators, as well as opportunities for native-English writers to travel to Bulgaria. She also serves on the University Council of the American University of Bulgaria in Blagoevgrad and as Vice President of the Pen & Plate Club in North Carolina.
She has received awards for service from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the town of Sozopol. Kostova holds a B.A. in British Studies from Yale College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards in both fiction and nonfiction.
From the million copy #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Historian, a novel that blends history and the present in a suspenseful journey that spans three generations and reveals the dark secrets of a family’s—and a nation’s—history.
A young American woman traveling in Sofia, Bulgaria, helps a family into a taxi, only to discover once the car has driven away that she has mistakenly kept one of their bags. She is alarmed to find an urn inside, filled with ashes and engraved with a name, Stoyan Lazarov. Setting out on a journey to track down the Lazarov family and reunite them with their precious package, she finds ever more obstacles in her path even as her determination grows greater, and the mystery behind the significance of the urn deepens. Soon she will realize that this object is tied to the very darkest moments in the nation’s history, and that the stakes behind seeing it safely returned are higher than she could ever have imagined.