The Guardian: "'The Eighth Life (for Brilka)' by Nino Haratischvili review – a landmark epic"

The Guardian's review of the novel follows an unveiling of the English-language publication of Kharatishvili's book in London last week. Photograph: G2 Baraniak., Dec 04, 2019, Tbilisi, Georgia

The momentous generational saga The Eight Life (for Brilka), the award-winning epic by German-based author Nino Kharatishvili, is an evoking look at power and human experiences under it, says a Guardian review for the work.

Presented in a series of literary events in London last week, the English-language publication of the 2018 Bertolt Brecht Prize-winning novel is now reviewed by Maya Jaggi of the newspaper.

Featured in Wednesday's 'book of the day' section of The Guardian website, Jaggi's article delves into the novel's depiction of a whole range of personalities from across decades of the 20th century dominated by authoritarianism and family tragedy.

[T]the book spans the “red century”, reaching into the 21st, from the rare vantage point of a subjugated republic on the fringes of the Russian and Soviet empires, the “balcony of Europe” - Maya Jaggi

This swathe of characters includes major historical figures such as Joseph Stalin and Lavrentiy Beria - mentioned through figurative names - in a portrayal of "naked power" but also exploring "culpability, atonement and redemption".

There are echoes down the generations, from the thwarted dreams of dancers and poets to devastated loves, and passion between women" - Maya Jaggi

The book's scope goes all the way through the turbulent years of Georgia's violent breaking away from the Soviet Union and personal experiences of its protagonists in the violent period. However the final part of the novel is left blank by the author, for an open-ended possibility that its protagonist "might rewrite her destiny and that of her homeland".

See the full review here.