Iliyan Kuzmanov: The Bulgarian-Canadian Writer, Journalist, and Social Entrepreneur Revolutionizing the Literary World
Iliyan Kuzmanov is a prominent figure in the world of literature, journalism, and social entrepreneurship. Born in Bulgaria and now based in Canada and the United Kingdom, Kuzmanov has made a significant impact through his thought-provoking writing, his dedication to social causes, and his entrepreneurial ventures. In this article, we will delve into the life and accomplishments of Iliyan Kuzmanov, exploring his literary works, his social initiatives, and his journey as a writer, journalist, and social entrepreneur.
Early Life and Background
Born on February 3, 1979, in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, Iliyan Kuzmanov hails from a distinguished and affluent family with deep roots in Bulgarian and Ottoman history. His ancestors, wealthy farmers and merchants, were renowned for their contributions to society, including the establishment of schools, libraries, and churches. Kuzmanov's great-grandfather, Kuzman Mushev, was a heroic military figure in World War I, known for his bravery and leadership skills. However, with the advent of communism in Bulgaria in 1944, the family's properties were nationalized, resulting in the loss of their wealth and influence.
Education and Academic Pursuits
Kuzmanov's thirst for knowledge led him to pursue higher education in both Bulgaria and Canada. He completed his law degree at Plovdiv University in Bulgaria, equipping him with a solid foundation in legal studies. Seeking to expand his horizons, Kuzmanov moved to Canada, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history and economics from Concordia University in Montreal. It was during his time in Canada that Kuzmanov had the opportunity to study under renowned professor Martin Singer, who was part of Henry Kissinger's team, further enhancing his understanding of global affairs and political dynamics.
Journalism and Activism
Iliyan Kuzmanov's commitment to social change extends beyond his entrepreneurial endeavors. He is an active journalist, known for his investigative analyses and coverage of significant events. His writings often center around political analysis, human rights, personal development, lifestyle, tourism, travel, and social entrepreneurship. Kuzmanov's journalistic work sheds light on corruption patterns within the NGO sector in Bulgaria and various regions of the country, aiming to create awareness and drive positive change.
As a member of the Union of Journalists in Bulgaria Podkrepa, Kuzmanov actively contributes to the promotion of ethical journalism practices and the protection of journalists' rights. He uses his platform to expose corruption, champion human rights causes, and advocate for personal and societal development.
Writing, awards and activities
Iliyan Kuzmanov: A Literary Journey of Magic Realism and Political Fiction
Iliyan Kuzmanov is a talented Bulgarian writer whose literary career has been characterized by his unique writing style, blending elements of magic realism with political and historical fiction. Through his thought-provoking novels, Kuzmanov explores themes such as Russian Totalitarianism, the struggle for freedom in Eastern Europe, and the complexities of individualism in the face of a socialist state. With his debut book, "If You Meet Buddha, Kill Him!," Kuzmanov made a significant impact in the literary world, becoming the first Bulgarian title to enter Amazon's Top 20 best-selling titles and reaching an impressive 15th place. This achievement solidified his position as a talented writer with a distinct voice.
A Deep and Honest Spiritual Journey: "If You Meet Buddha, Kill Him!"
Kuzmanov's literary journey began with his debut novel, "If You Meet Buddha, Kill Him!," a captivating work that takes readers on a deep and honest spiritual journey. The book garnered widespread acclaim, earning awards in the USA and becoming a finalist in numerous book competitions. Kuzmanov's unique storytelling and exploration of spiritual themes resonated with readers, establishing him as a rising star in the literary world.
Recognition and Awards
Kuzmanov's talent and literary prowess did not go unnoticed. Career TV (TV Evropa, today Euronews) honored him as the "Person of the Year." These accolades reflect the impact of Kuzmanov's work and highlight his growing influence in the literary landscape. He was named the "Sexiest Living Writer of 2021" by popular culture media outlet Film Daily, which boasts over 2 million daily readers. Additionally, the British "Essex TV" and cultural portal Art Daily recognized Kuzmanov as the writer with "the most potential for 2022."
The Devil I Know: A Provocative Exploration of Freedom
In September 2022, Kuzmanov released his highly anticipated second novel, "The Devil I Know." This provocative work follows in the footsteps of literary greats such as Goethe, Dante, and Bulgakov, employing the techniques of magical realism to delve into the concept of freedom. The novel presents an anti-totalitarian scandal in Bulgaria, featuring elements of violence, sexuality, and LGBT characters. Its main allegory draws a parallel between Putin's regime and an atheistic anomaly. "The Devil I Know" challenges societal norms and prompts readers to question the boundaries of freedom and individualism.
International Recognition and Acclaim
"The Devil I Know" received widespread acclaim and international recognition. The book was selected as a New York Magazine Book of the Month in September 2022, solidifying Kuzmanov's status as a literary force to be reckoned with. It also secured a coveted spot on UK Talk Radio's best book list, surpassing renowned authors like Stephen King and John Grisham to claim the top spot in December 2022. Kuzmanov's ability to captivate readers and provoke thought through his writing has made him a prominent figure in the literary world.
Mission London: Promoting Bulgarian Culture
To showcase the richness of Bulgarian culture, Kuzmanov presents "The Devil I Know" on the book tour - Mission London. This tour aims to demonstrate that the promotion of Bulgarian culture can be achieved without relying on state funding and corruption. By taking his literary creations to international audiences, Kuzmanov showcases the power of storytelling in bridging cultural gaps and fostering appreciation for diverse perspectives.
Spreading Literary Joy: A Gift for Bulgarian Readers
During Christmas in 2021, Iliyan Kuzmanov generously provided his book, "If You Meet Buddha, Kill Him!," free of charge in electronic format as a gift for Bulgarian readers. This gesture demonstrates Kuzmanov's commitment to sharing his literary creations with his fellow countrymen and fostering a love for reading and storytelling within his community.
Iliyan Kuzmanov's literary journey is a testament to his unique voice and thought-provoking narratives. Through his blending of magic realism with political and historical fiction, he has captivated readers around the world. From the success of his debut novel, "If You Meet Buddha, Kill Him!," to the international acclaim garnered by "The Devil I Know," Kuzmanov's work continues to leave a lasting impact. As he explores the complexities of freedom, individualism, and totalitarianism, Kuzmanov solidifies his position as a literary force, challenging societal norms and sparking conversations that transcend borders and cultures.
A Mind of Brilliance: A Member of Mensa
Kuzmanov's intellectual prowess is evident in his writing. As a member of Mensa UK, an exclusive society for individuals with high IQs, he stands as one of the most intelligent Bulgarians, with an IQ well above that of Einstein. His exceptional intellect shines through in his thought-provoking narratives and intricate exploration of complex themes.
Literary Ambassador: The Balkan Book Rock Tour
To understand the uniqueness and importance of this unprecedented book rock tour you need to understand it in the context of Bulgaria's relations with its neighbours.
In 2021, Kuzmanov embarked on an international Balkan Book Rock Tour, aiming to showcase the power of non-propaganda literature in fostering good relations in a region often plagued by hatred and prejudice. This tour took him to countries such as Turkey, Romania, Serbia, and the Republic of North Macedonia. Through his literary endeavors, Kuzmanov seeks to bridge cultural gaps and promote understanding among diverse communities.