Miroslav Penkov was born in Bulgaria and lived there, in the capital city of Sofia, until he graduated from First English Language High school. In 2001, at the age of eighteen, Miroslav went to the University of Arkansas where he completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology, followed by an MFA in Creative Writing. In 2008 The Southern Review awarded his story "Buying Lenin" the 2007 Eudora Welty Prize in fiction. A month later Salman Rushdie and Heidi Pitlor chose the story to appear in the 2008 Best American Short Stories. EAST OF THE WEST was published by Sceptre in 2011 and the title story won the BBC International Short Story Award, 2012. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Texas and a fiction editor of the American Literary Review.