The Pear FieldNana Ekvtimishvili
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.
Written by Nana Ekvtimishvili
Translated from the Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway
Closed Universe series
paperback with flaps, £12
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.
‘[The Pear Field] has one of the best heroines I’ve come across in a while.’ Aida Edemariam, International Booker judge
‘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
‘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
‘Delicate, heartrending, but completely unsentimental.’ Bayerischer 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
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