On November 4th, we celebrated the launch of The Pear Field – the award-winning debut novel by film-maker Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated from the Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway. We were joined by the author for a discussion led by esteemed cultural critic Maya Jaggi, followed by readings and an audience Q&A. Many thought-provoking topics were covered: who gets left behind in a society during its transition to a new political framework; the experience of telling a story through writing vs film; attitudes toward people with disabilities in post-soviet Georgia; and the author’s own childhood, growing up in Tbilisi in the 1990s.
We are so pleased to finally be able to share this novel with our readers. The Pear Field is a brave and unflinching novel that deals with the most difficult of themes – the mistreatment of vulnerable children. Set against the backdrop of post-Soviet economic collapse, in a school for children with intellectual disabilities, Ekvtimishvili explores the discrimination and hardship experienced by Georgian orphans in this era. It is a story of solidarity and friendship amongst young people, who stand up for one another against the power of abusive adults. Published Friday 30th of October – you can get your copy here.