The Most Famous

WRITERS from Bulgaria

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This page contains a list of the greatest Bulgarian Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 29 of which were born in Bulgaria. This makes Bulgaria the birth place of the 36th most number of Writers behind Argentina and Georgia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Bulgarian Writers of all time. This list of famous Bulgarian Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Bulgarian Writers.

Photo of Aesop

1. Aesop (-620 - -564)

With an HPI of 88.17, Aesop is the most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 92 different languages on wikipedia.

Aesop ( EE-sop or AY-sop; Greek: Αἴσωπος, Aísopos; c. 620–564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics. Scattered details of Aesop's life can be found in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called The Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly slave (δοῦλος) who by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. Older spellings of his name have included Esop(e) and Isope. Depictions of Aesop in popular culture over the last 2,500 years have included many works of art and his appearance as a character in numerous books, films, plays, and television programs.

Photo of Elias Canetti

2. Elias Canetti (1905 - 1994)

With an HPI of 80.34, Elias Canetti is the 2nd most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 82 different languages.

Elias Canetti (; Bulgarian: Елиас Канети; 25 July 1905 – 14 August 1994) was a German-language author, born in Ruse, Bulgaria to a merchant family. They moved to Manchester, England, but his father died in 1912, and his mother took her three sons back to the continent. They settled in Vienna. Canetti moved to England in 1938 after the Anschluss to escape Nazi persecution. He became a British citizen in 1952. He is known as a modernist novelist, playwright, memoirist, and non-fiction writer. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981, "for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power". He is noted for his non-fiction book Crowds and Power, among other works.

Photo of Saint Naum

3. Saint Naum (830 - 910)

With an HPI of 72.51, Saint Naum is the 3rd most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Saint Naum (Bulgarian and Macedonian: Свети Наум, Sveti Naum), also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav (c. 830 – December 23, 910) was a medieval Bulgarian writer, enlightener, one of the Seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and missionary among the Slavs. He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic script. Naum was among the founders of the Pliska Literary School. Afterwards Naum worked at the Ohrid Literary School. He was among the first saints declared by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church after its foundation in the 9th century. The mission of Saint Naum played significant role by transformation of the local Slavs into Bulgarians.

Photo of Georgi Markov

4. Georgi Markov (1929 - 1978)

With an HPI of 69.11, Georgi Markov is the 4th most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Georgi Ivanov Markov (Bulgarian: Георги Иванов Марков [ɡɛˈɔrɡi ˈmarkof]; 1 March 1929 – 11 September 1978) was a Bulgarian dissident writer. He originally worked as a novelist, screenwriter and playwright in his native country, the People's Republic of Bulgaria, until his defection in 1978. After relocating to London, he worked as a broadcaster and journalist for the BBC World Service, the US-funded Radio Free Europe and West Germany's Deutsche Welle. Markov used such forums to conduct a campaign of sarcastic criticism against the incumbent Bulgarian regime, which, according to his wife at the time he died, eventually became "vitriolic" and included "really smearing mud on the people in the inner circles."Markov was assassinated on a London street via a micro-engineered pellet that might have contained ricin. Contemporary newspaper accounts claimed that he had been shot in the leg with a pellet fired from an umbrella wielded by someone associated with the Bulgarian Secret Service. Annabel Markov recalled her husband's view about the umbrella, telling the BBC's Panorama programme in April, 1979: “He felt a jab in his thigh. He looked around and there was a man behind him who’d apologized and dropped an umbrella. I got the impression as he told the story that the jab hadn’t been inflicted by the umbrella but that the man had dropped the umbrella as cover to hide his face.” Subsequent investigations have discounted the theory that a pellet had been fired from an umbrella as being unlikely. It has been speculated that the Bulgarian Secret Service asked the KGB for help.

Photo of Chernorizets Hrabar

5. Chernorizets Hrabar (890 - 950)

With an HPI of 68.53, Chernorizets Hrabar is the 5th most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Chernorizets Hrabar (Church Slavonic: Чрьнори́зьць Хра́бръ, Črĭnorizĭcĭ Hrabrŭ, Bulgarian: Черноризец Храбър) was a Bulgarian monk, scholar and writer who worked at the Preslav Literary School at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century.

Photo of Hristo Botev

6. Hristo Botev (1848 - 1876)

With an HPI of 68.46, Hristo Botev is the 6th most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Hristo Botev (Bulgarian: Христо Ботев, pronounced [ˈxristo ˈbɔtɛf]), born Hristo Botyov Petkov (Христо Ботьов Петков; 6 January 1848 [O.S. 25 December 1847] – 1 June [O.S. 20 May] 1876), was a Bulgarian revolutionary and poet. Botev is widely considered by Bulgarians to be a symbolic historical figure and national hero. His poetry is a prime example of the literature of the Bulgarian National Revival, though he is considered to be ahead of his contemporaries in his political, philosophical, and aesthetic views.

Photo of Ivan Vazov

7. Ivan Vazov (1850 - 1921)

With an HPI of 67.99, Ivan Vazov is the 7th most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Ivan Minchov Vazov (Bulgarian: Иван Минчов Вазов; 9 July [O.S. 27 June] 1850 – 22 September 1921) was a Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright, often referred to as "the Patriarch of Bulgarian literature". He was born in Sopot, a town in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria (then part of the Ottoman Empire). The works of Ivan Vazov reveal two historical epochs - the Bulgarian Renaissance and the Post-Liberation (from Ottoman Empire rule) epoch. Ivan Vazov holds the highest honorary title of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Academician. He acted as Education and People Enlightenment Minister from September 7, 1897 until January 30, 1899, representing the People's Party.

Photo of Sabahattin Ali

8. Sabahattin Ali (1907 - 1948)

With an HPI of 65.21, Sabahattin Ali is the 8th most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Sabahattin Ali (25 February 1907 – 2 April 1948) was a Turkish novelist, short-story writer, poet, and journalist.

Photo of Elin Pelin

9. Elin Pelin (1877 - 1949)

With an HPI of 62.37, Elin Pelin is the 9th most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Elin Pelin (Bulgarian: Елин Пелин [ɛˈlin pɛˈlin]) (8 July 1877 – 3 December 1949), born Dimitar Ivanov Stoyanov (Bulgarian: Димитър Иванов Стоянов) is arguably considered Bulgaria’s best narrator of country life.

Photo of Georgi Sava Rakovski

10. Georgi Sava Rakovski (1821 - 1867)

With an HPI of 62.12, Georgi Sava Rakovski is the 10th most famous Bulgarian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Georgi Stoykov Rakovski (Bulgarian: Георги Стойков Раковски) (1821 – 9 October 1867), known also Georgi Sava Rakovski (Георги Сава Раковски), born Sabi Stoykov Popovich (Съби Стойков Попович), was a 19th-century Bulgarian revolutionary, freemason, writer and an important figure of the Bulgarian National Revival and resistance against Ottoman rule.

Pantheon has 29 people classified as writers born between 620 BC and 1968. Of these 29, 3 (10.34%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Anton Donchev, Georgi Gospodinov, and Ilija Trojanow. The most famous deceased writers include Aesop, Elias Canetti, and Saint Naum. As of October 2020, 6 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Ferdinand Bruckner, Blaga Dimitrova, and Dora Gabe.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 21 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.