Autobiographical novel of celebrated author, musician Irakli Charkviani coming out in German

A monument for author, poet and musical artist Irakli Charkviani in Tbilisi's Dedaena Park. Photo: Tbilisi City Hall., 13 Mar 2018 - 18:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

A defining novel by Georgia’s celebrated late author and musician Irakli Charkviani will be made available to readers in German to mark the focus on the country at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.

A Peaceful Swim, Charkviani’s autobiographical work first published the year the acclaimed artist died, will come to German-speaking readers this summer, as announced by the Dagyeli Verlag publishing house.

The two-part novel features the author’s fictionalised illustration of a contemporary reincarnation of Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, in its first section.

A cover for the German edition of 'A Peaceful Swim'. Photo: Dagyeli Verlag.

The second part of the book represents Charkviani’s autobiography through the protagonist, named The King.

Beside portraying the life and aspirations of the author, the novel can also be seen as "a chronicle of modern times” with facts about the political scene of Georgia of the recent past, said the work’s Georgian publisher, Intelekti.

The publishing house called A Peaceful Swim "the most distinctive work of [Charkviani’s] literary legacy”.

Born in 1961, the Georgian author created literary works including short stories and poems starting in the 1980s. A collection of Charkviani’s personal letters was one of the most recent publications of his literary legacy in 2015.

A Peaceful Swim is a winner of the 2014 Georgian Literary Marathon My Book, finishing ahead of famed works including late novelist Mikheil Javakhishvili’s prominent work Jaqo’s Dispossessed and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.

It will be translated into German by author and translator Iunona Guruli, who also worked on translation of celebrated writer Aka Morchiladze’s novel Journey to Karabakh for German-speaking readers.

Dagyeli Verlag will publish A Peaceful Swim in German within the frames of Georgia’s year-long literature program for the Frankfurt Book Fair, where the country is set to be hosted as the Guest of Honour.

Established by journalist and activist Yildirim Dagyeli in the 1980s, the German publishing house closed in the following decade before being restarted by his daughter Jeanine in 2001.

Dagyeli Verlag carries a focus on literature from the Caucasus, Turkey and the Central Asia, and is participant of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Georgian National Book Centre, a co-organiser of the country’s program for the fair along with the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Georgia, is working on unveiling around 300 translations of Georgian books at the major event in October.