NIKOLAI HAITOV was born in 1919 in the village of Yavrovo in the Rhodope Mountains. He left Yavrovo at the age of fourteen to work for three years in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second  city, before returning to the village to become a forester. In 1954, after more than twenty years in the forestry service, Haitov began to turn his experiences into literature; his collections of short stories (Tales From the Forest, 1956; Rivals, 1957; and Sparks From the Hearth, 1959), essays and historical works reveal and reclaim the cultural heritage of the Rhodope people.

Wild Tales, his most successful work, was published in 1967. It earned Haitov the Dimitrov Prize for Literature Bulgaria's highest literary award and in 1974 was voted the most popular work by any living Bulgarian author since 1945. Translations of Wild Tales have been published in Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Turkey.

('Wild Tales', Peter Owen, London, 1979)