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Author photo. Nikolai Grozni. © 2011 Jessica Langton

Nikolai Grozni. © 2011 Jessica Langton

Nikolai Grozni

Author of Turtle Feet

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Grozni was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, at a time when the country was still under an oppressive communist rule. After being accepted to the National Music School “Lubomir Pipkov”, he trained to become a concert pianist, winning his first international piano award in Salerno, Italy, in 1983. Following the political changes after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1992 Grozni left Bulgaria to study Jazz and composition at Berklee College of Music, Boston. In 1995, shortly before graduating from Berklee, Grozni suddenly decided to give up music altogether and left for India to become a Buddhist monk and study Tibetan language. He spent four years in Dharamsala, studying at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, before joining Drepung Monastery in South India in 1999, where he stayed for six months. The five years he spent in India would become the inspiration for his three works in Bulgarian, as well as for his memoir in English: ‘Turtle Feet: The making and unmaking of a Buddhist monk." Grozni holds an MFA in creative writing from Brown University.
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