The Pear FieldNana Ekvtimishvili
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Lela knows two things to be absolutely true.
- The history teacher has to die.
- The children should run across the pear field to freedom.
On the outskirts of Tbilisi, on the corner of Kerch St., there sits an orphanage for Georgia’s abandoned children. After the fall of the Soviet Union, these are the children left behind. The teachers are overwhelmed and the school only offers its pupils lessons in violence, abuse and neglect.
Lela is old enough to leave but has nowhere else to go. She stays and plans for the children’s escape, for a future she hopes to give to Irakli, a young boy in the home, and for a better world she hopes is beyond the horizon. When an American group visits offering the prospect of a new life Lela decides she must do anything to give Irakli this chance.
Written by Nana Ekvtimishvili
Translated from the Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway
Closed Universe series
paperback with flaps, £12
Nana Ekvtimishvili is an internationally acclaimed Georgian writer and director. Her debut feature film In Bloom premiered at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in 2013. The film won the International Confederation of Art Cinema Award and was Georgia’s entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2014. Lela, published in Georgia in 2015 as The Pear Field, is her debut novel and has already been translated into German to much acclaim.
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.
‘Nana Ekvtimishvili has written a ruthless book that gives a voice to the deposed’ 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