Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian was the first debut novel in US publishing history to land at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale; it has sold more than three million copies and been translated into 40 languages. Her second novel, The Swan Thieves, was also a New York Times bestseller.
In her third novel, The Shadow Land, a young American woman travels to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will help her heal from the loss of her brother. Shortly after arriving, she finds a carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Upon raising the lid, she discovers an urn filled with human ashes and sets out to locate the family to return this precious item. What begins as a mystery leads to uncovering the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression, and evolves into a meditation on the painful history of an entire country. The Shadow Land explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss. Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan.
“The Shadow Land is thrilling, and not just as a gripping tale. It’s also thrilling to watch such a talented writer cast her spell. The central character actually begins this deft novel in an urn, only to emerge as one of the most memorable characters I’ve encountered in a long time.” —Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls