The Pear Field

by Nana Ekvtimishvili


A debut novel from an internationally acclaimed Georgian writer and film director. Longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize.

Lela knows two things: her history teacher must die and she must start a new life beyond the pear field. On the outskirts of Tbilisi, in a newly independent Georgia, is the Residential School for Intellectually Disabled Children – or, as the locals call it, the School for Idiots. Abandoned by their parents, the pupils here receive lessons in violence and neglect. At eighteen, Lela is old enough to leave, but with nowhere to go she stays and plans, both for her own escape and for the future she hopes to give Irakli, a young boy at the school. When a couple from the USA decide they want to adopt a child, Lela is determined to do everything she can to help Irakli make the most of this chance.

Translated from the Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway

168pp, paperback with flaps, £12.00
ISBN 978-1-908670-60-1
Publication Date: 27 October 2020

Press & Reviews

'[The Pear Field] has one of the best heroines I've come across in a while.' - Aida Edemariam, International Booker judge

‘Delicate, heartrending, but completely unsentimental.’ - Bayerischer Rundfunk

'In Lela, Ekvtimishvili has created an extraordinary character from a disadvantaged background determined to escape her apparent destiny, make the best of herself and do her best for a similarly disadvantaged friend. A gem.' - Charlie Connelly, The New European

The Pear Field is a flawless novel that moves forward so effortlessly on the strength of its characters, especially the lovable, hopeful, angry Lela. A tortured, doomed hero, she is a light that guides us through the trauma and tragedy of this novel. -Willow Heath, Books & Bao

This novel thrums with a calm assurance, crafted with precision and quiet mastery. The writing is smooth and supple, and the characters are painted with authenticity and tenderness. - Rachel Farmer, Lunate

‘A sharp-sighted portrait of a society that loses its humanity on its way to a new era. A moving debut.’ - Mirko Schwanitz, Norddeutscher Rundfunk

‘A merciless book that gives voice to those left behind while crying out against apathy and brutality.’ - Holger Heimann, WDR 5

'The Pear Field becomes more complicated, more poetic, nuanced from page to page...characters that could be in any Dickens.' - Stefan Mesch, Spiegel Online

About The Book


Nana Ekvtimishvili is a writer and film director. In 2013, with her partner Simon Groß, she directed In Bloom, which won awards in Berlin, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles and Sarajevo, and was selected as Georgia’s entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Her latest film, My Happy Family, was released in 2017. First published in 2015, The Pear Field is Ekvtimishvili’s debut novel. It was awarded several prestigious literary prizes in Georgia and has been translated into multiple languages.


Elizabeth Heighway has worked as a translator from Georgian and French since 2010. She has translated a number of contemporary Georgian works including Aka Morchiladze’s Journey to Karabakh and the anthology Contemporary Georgian Fiction, both published by Dalkey Archive Press.