Vanja Peneva was born in 1957. After attending a German-speaking grammar school in Pazardžik she studied German Language and Literature in Sofia. Since 1990 she has worked as a translator from German, and since 2001 also as a publishing editor at Prosveta in Sofia. She has translated works by Thomas Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger, Erich Kästner, Siegfried Lenz, Wladimir Kaminer and Martin Suter into Bulgarian.