Nana Ekvtimishvili's award-winning debut novel in UK online launch

  • Peirene Press made the novel available for readers in the UK on October 30. Image via, 3 Nov 2020 - 19:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Award-winning author and film director Nana Ekvtimishvili will join an online launch of her celebrated debut novel The Pear Field, hosted by publishers Peirene Press and The Book Hive bookstore of Norwich on Wednesday.

The Georgian writer, awarded Saba Literary Award for Debut of the Year for the work, will be joined by author and critic Maya Jaggi and transltor Elizabeth Heighway in introducing the book to readers tuning in to the virtual event hosted by Maddie Rogers of Peirene’s Borderless Book Club.

The launch will see Ekvtimishvili in conversation with Jaggi while Heighway, curator of the first British festival of contemporary Georgian writers and film, will read fragments from the novel for viewers.

Beautifully translated by Elizabeth Heighway, the novel centres around eighteen-year-old Lela, who lives in the Residential School for Intellectually Disabled Children."

Interspersing vivid snapshots from Lela’s past with the turbulent present, Ekvtimishvili paints an unflinching picture of post-Soviet Georgian life, as experienced by those on the margins of society" - event summary for the novel

The author of the book will also read selected bits from the work - made available in the UK on October 30 - with an audience Q&A session to follow their talk.

Published in 2015 by Sulakauri Publishing, The Pear Field earned Ektvimishvili the Saba Award the following year. The novel was also selected for the Iliauni Literary Award and the Litera Prize, completing a full sweep of major literary awards in Georgia for the work.

Jury teams for the Iliauni and Litera selections praised Ekvtimishvili's work for "representation of women's voice in literature" and a "description of life and hardship of people and community whose voice rarely reaches us", among other plaudits.