„The eighth life“ has arrived home
10 September, 2019
„The eighth life“ has arrived home
More than 100'000 Germans have already read it, the Dutch and Polish as well. But it was only last May that Nino Haratischwili's “The eighth life for Brilka” was translated for Georgian readers.

“If this book is translated one day, I’m not so sure if Georgians will like it”, Nino Haratischwili said in 2014, when she was asked by a journalist from the Swiss national radio SRF if she hoped to start a controversy in Georgia about the country’s history. Nearly five years
later “The eighth life for Brilka” was published. In May this story about six generations of a Georgian family reached potential readers living in Georgia, who lost loved ones in one of the wars or who collaborated willingly and successfully during the Soviet period.
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Nino Haratischwili is from Georgia but lives in Hamburg and writes in German as well.

“I well remember how nervous Nino was about the translation, and how she used to say that for her it was Brilka's return to her native land”, Gvantsa Jobava from Haratischwili’s Georgian publishing house Intelekti says, “and indeed, it has been a huge task to translate it.” Over five editors worked on the book, which is 1300 pages long: “Each one of them had to take a different angle for the checking of the facts.” The publisher wanted at all costs to protect the credibility of this text.

History lesson for young Georgians

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Six generations and the story of a century “that cheated on everyone”, as the author Nino Haratischwili once put it.

“I think it could really become the book that will teach young Georgians about the past and give them an understanding of the circumstances their parents and grandparents grew up in”, Jobava says. After the first edition of 2000 copies, a second has been ordered.

What was the final reaction of Georgian readers to “The eighth life”? The organiser of the guest-of-honour-appearance in Frankfurt, Madea Metreveli, sings her praises: “I have only heard positive things about it.” And also Tina Mamulashvili from the competitor “Sulakauri Publishing” has not heard anything negative. “The only bad thing about the book is that we don’t have the rights”, she says and adds: “The book is on the reading list of my 17-year-old daughter.”

By Valerie Wacker

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