Everything Happens as It Does

by Albena Stambolova


Fiction from Open Letter Books
Translated from Bulgarian

Albena Stambolova’s idiosyncratic debut novel, Everything Happens as It Does, builds from the idea that, as the title suggests, everything happens exactly the way it must. In this case, the seven characters of the novel—from Boris, a young boy who is only at peace when he’s around bees, to Philip and Maria and their twins—each play a specific role in the lives of the others, binding them all together into a strange, yet logical, knot.

SKU: 115 Category:


Open Letter Books
novel | paperback| 110 pages


As characters are picked up, explored, and then swept aside, the novel’s beguiling structure becomes apparent, forcing the reader to pay attention to the patterns created by this accumulation of events and relationships. This is not a novel of reaching moral high ground; this is not a book about resolving relationships; this is a story whose mysteries are mysteries for a reason.

Written with a precise, succinct tone that calls to mind Camus’s The Stranger, Everything Happens as It Does is a captivating and detail-driven novel that explores how depth will never be as immediately accessible as superficiality, and how everything will run its course in the precise manner it was always meant to.

Translated from the Bulgarian by Olga Nikolova

About the Author: Albena Stambolova is the author of three novels: Everything Happens as It Does, Hop-Hop the Stars, and An Adventure, to Pass the Time. She has also published a collection of short stories, Three Dots, and a psychoanalytical study on Marguerite Duras, Sickness in Death. She currently lives in Bulgaria, where she works as a psychological and organizational consultant, and is working on a book about fairy tales.

“Stambolova’s novel is based on the notion that human existence cannot but move toward an inexorable and irrational order: Everything happens the way it has to happen, because this is the way it happens. The characters in Everything Happens as It Does are created on this exact principle.”
—Milena Kirova

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