Michael Ondaatje & Miroslav Penkov

Michael Ondaatje and Miroslav Penkov in Denton, Texas. Both are immigrants to North America, a shared experience that helped them to build an excellent relationship.

Michael Ondaatje and Miroslav Penkov in Denton, Texas. Both are immigrants to North America, a shared experience that helped them to build an excellent relationship.

Mentor Michael Ondaatje (left) and Miroslav Penkov discuss his first novel at the University of North Texas, where Penkov teaches.

Mentor Michael Ondaatje (left) and Miroslav Penkov discuss his first novel at the University of North Texas, where Penkov teaches.

Literature mentor Michael Ondaatje is the Booker-Prize winning author of The English Patient, which was made into a multi-Oscar-winning film.

Literature mentor Michael Ondaatje is the Booker-Prize winning author of The English Patient, which was made into a multi-Oscar-winning film.

Penkov with a first edition copy of The English Patient – outside a bookstore in Denton, Texas.

Penkov with a first edition copy of The English Patient – outside a bookstore in Denton, Texas.

Penkov at work in his office at the University of North Texas, where he is Associate Professor of the Creative Writing Program.

Penkov at work in his office at the University of North Texas, where he is Associate Professor of the Creative Writing Program.

Penkov writes books in both English and Bulgarian. While Penkov’s short story collection, East of the West, had been very successful, he was struggling with his first novel. Ondaatje was able to help him with advice on structure. The novel, Stork Mountain, has been bought by an American publisher.

Penkov writes books in both English and Bulgarian. While Penkov’s short story collection, East of the West, had been very successful, he was struggling with his first novel. Ondaatje was able to help him with advice on structure. The novel, Stork Mountain, has been bought by an American publisher.