Notes from Hell
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Notes from Hell (Bulgarian: "Записки от ада") is a biographical novel, written by Nikolay Yordanov and Valya Cherveniashka about her life in several Libyan prisons during the HIV trial in Libya. It follows the events during eight and a half years, spent behind bars under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. Cherveniashka, together with six more medics, was accused of being involved in the mass murder of hundreds of Libyan children, by deliberately infecting them with the HIV virus in a hospital in Benghazi. She was sentenced to death several times between 2002 and 2007, and released after political negotiations on 24 July 2007.[2]
Notes from Hell
AuthorNikolay Yordanov and Valya Chervenyashka
TranslatorsMilena Todorova (English), Doncho Hristev (French)
LanguageBulgarian, English, French
GenreBiographical novel
PublisherHermes Books (2009), 30 Degrees South Publishers (2010), NY Creative and Publishing (2014)
Publication date
November 20, 2009; 11 years ago
ISBN978-619-90250-3-1 [1]
Followed byDon't Tell Mama 
Yordanov met Cherveniashka during filming of the TV show "Psychic Challenge" in 2008, and proposed that they write the book together.[3] They met several times in her daughter's apartment in Sofia.[4] The process took one and a half years, and the first edition was published in November 2009.
In 1999 seventeen Bulgarian nurses were kidnapped from a hospital in Benghazi, Libya where they worked and were confined in a police station in the capital Tripoli. During the next eight and a half years five of the nurses, including Cherveniashka, were held in different prisons accused of deliberately infecting more than 400 children with HIV. They survived torture, physical and mental abuse, and several death sentences, before their liberation in 2007.[5] Cherveniashka told her story to her co-author one year after her return to Bulgaria.
Violent content
All of the defendants in the case claim that they had been tortured. In the chapters "The Red Carpet",[6] "The Hell in Me", and "Death Women Walking" Cherveniashka describes in details tens of different methods of torture she experienced, including drowning, beating, hanging, dog attacks and many more. She was also subjected to psychological violence, such as simulated infection with the HIV virus, and executions of other prisoners meters away from her cell.
The book was first published in Bulgaria by "Hermes Books" as "Записки от ада: Ужасите в либийските затвори" ("Notes from Hell: The Horror of the Libyan Prisons") on November 20, 2009.[7] On December 2, 2009, it was presented by Bulgaria's ex-foreign Minister of International Affairs - Solomon Passy,[8] who worked active on medics release.
In March 2010 "Notes from Hell" was published in Southern Africa by "30° South Publishers" as "Notes from Hell: A Bulgarian Nurse in Libya".[9]
"Notes From Hell" was re-issued as e-book by "30° South Publishers" in 2011. Three years later it was published again in Bulgarian and English by "NY Creative and Publishing".[11] It's available on various formats, including epub, mobi, PDF and Kindle on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, etc., as well in the major online libraries.
In 2017, marking tenth anniversary of the medics liberation, a French language edition was published with different cover and new subtitle as "Notes from Hell: A True Story". [4]
In 2018 British actress Nano Nagle recorded Cherveniashka's confession in audiobook adaptation of the story.[10]
International editions
The French edition cover of the book, published in October 2017
Date PublishedTitleSubtitlePublisherTerritoryLanguageTypeISBN/ASIN
November 20, 2009"Записки от ада""Ужасите в либийските затвори"Hermes BooksBulgariaBulgarianPaperback9789542608226
March 1, 2010 [11]"Notes from Hell""A Bulgarian Nurse in Libya"30° PublishingSouthern AfricaEnglishPaperback9789542608226
March 1, 2012 [11]"Notes from Hell""A Bulgarian Nurse in Libya"30° PublishingWorldwideEnglisheBook781920143473
September 1, 2014"Notes from Hell"NY Creative and PublishingWorldwideEnglisheBook9786199025031/B00OPDDUSM
October 28, 2014"Записки от ада"NY Creative and PublishingWorldwideBulgarianeBook9786199025017
October 9, 2017"Notes De L’Enfer""Une historie vraie"NY Creative and PublishingWorldwideFrencheBook9786199025055
November 30, 2018"Notes from Hell"NY Creative and PublishingWorldwideEnglishAudiobookB07KRMC2KY
Critical reception
Cherveniashka on the set of "Psychic challenge", 2008
The book received positive reviews in Bulgaria, the country Chervinashka is from. A journalist from Standart newspaper called it "a significant topic of discussion". Another newspaper, Telegraph praises the title as "one of the most emotional and revealing confessions".[12] Television journalist Ani Tzolova described it as "powerful story".[13]
In South Africa Notes from Hell also received positive reaction from the critics. According to Michelle Bristow-Bovey from Cape Times, "Notes from Hell" documents more than a decade of torture, cruelty and despair. This intimate account is relayed with raw honesty and emotion. A cold, sobering look at some of life's injustices." Dries Brunt from Citizen claims that "...This story shows brutality in its most extreme form, a wilful act of cruel injustice for which the Libyan government stands accused. Reading this book will make you cringe."[14]
  1. ^ "Notes From Hell". Goodreads.
  2. ^ "BBC NEWS - Europe - HIV medics released to Bulgaria". news.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ Yordanov, Nikolay; Cherveniashka, Valya (1 September 2014). Notes From Hell. NY Creative And Publishing. ISBN 9786199025031 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b "Smashwords – Interview with Nikolay Yordanov". www.smashwords.com.
  5. ^ Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. "'Yes, They Were Tortured': Gadhafi's Son Confirms Abuse of Bulgarian Medics - SPIEGEL ONLINE - International". SPIEGEL ONLINE.
  6. ^ "Creative Writing (page 1)". www.goodreads.com.
  7. ^ "Записки от Ада - Хермес". hermesbooks.com.
  8. ^ "Соломон Паси представи книгата на Валя Червеняшка".
  9. ^ http://www.ultraquickhost.com​, Ultraquick Host, Web Design and optimisation by Louis-John Havemann. "Notes from Hell - Valya Chervenyashka - Yordanov Nikolay - HIV/AIDS". www.30degreessouth.co.za​.
  10. ^​https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43021127-notes-from-hell
  11. ^ a b "Notes from Hell by Valya Chervenyashka & Nikolay Yordanov on iBooks". iBooks.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2014-09-10.
  13. ^ http://vbox7.com/play:4f8e7c71
  14. ^ http://www.ultraquickhost.com​, Ultraquick Host, Web Design and optimisation by Louis-John Havemann. "Books published - 30 Degrees South Publishing Company South Africa - M (cont) to T". www.30degreessouth.co.za​.
Last edited on 1 March 2021, at 11:16
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