Online festival of Georgian literature to livestream talks with prized authors

  • The online event was inspired by the Tbilisi urban tavern culture during the First Democratic Republic of Georgia. Image via festival organisers., 10 Feb 2021 - 18:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Some of the most recognised Georgian authors of the recent years will be introduced to English-language audiences via Georgia's Fantastic Tavern: Where Europe Meets Asia - an online festival that will also explore music and cuisine from the country.

In 11 meetings via the internet, Artistic Director Maya Jaggi and Writers' House of Georgia will host a selection of writers in conversations about subjects ranging from satire in the contemporary Georgian literature, women of the local scene, translation of epic works from the language, and more.

The festival will see participants including award-winning writers Nino Kharatishvili, the author of the internationally acclaimed saga The Eighth Life (for Brilka), Beqa Adamashvili, recipient of the EU Prize for Literature for Everybody Dies in the Novel, and Nana Ekvtimishvili, who received the Saba Literary Award for Debut of the Year for The Pear Field.

Authors Aka Morchiladze and Dato Turashvili, Lasha Bugadze, Tamta Melashvili, Archil Kikodze, David Gabunia and Zurab Karumidze are also on the roster to appear in the remotely hosted event, with translators Lyn Coffin and Tamar Japaridze, and internationally renowned writer Boris Akunin, will also sit down for discussions with festival hosts.

Rounding off the diverse selection of personalities, singer and songwriter Katie Melua will speak about her route from Georgian roots to London-based music career, and chef and TV presenter Luka Nachkebia will explore the subject of "feasting as therapy".

The online meetings, which organisers say are "inspired by the café culture of the first democratic republic [of Georgia] of 1918-21", will be hosted between February 25-28.

Set to be livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook, the festival is partnered by British Library and the New York-based literary platform Words Without Borders.