Haratischwili__Nino_The-Eighth-Life
2021 Longlist

The Eighth Life (for Brilka)

Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

That night Stasia took an oath, swearing to learn the recipe by heart and destroy the paper. And when she was lying in her bed again, recalling the taste with all her senses, she was sure that this secret recipe could heal wounds, avert catastrophes, and bring people happiness. But she was wrong.’ At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian Empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste …Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the centre of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia’s is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century .Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Nino
Haratischwili

Nino Haratischvili was born in Georgia in 1983, and is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and theatre director. At home in two different worlds, each with their own language, she has been writing in both German and Georgian since the age of twelve. In 2010, her debut novel Juja was nominated for the German Book Prize, as was her most recent Die Katze und der General in 2018. In its German edition, The Eighth Life was a bestseller, and won the Anna Seghers Prize, the Lessing Prize Stipend, and the Bertolt Brecht Prize 2018. It is being translated into many languages, and has already been a major bestseller on publication in Holland, Poland, and Georgia.

Nino Haratischvili was born in Georgia in 1983, and is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and theatre director. At home in two different worlds, each with their own language, she has been writing in both German and Georgian since the age of twelve. In 2010, her debut novel Juja was nominated for the German Book Prize, as was her most recent Die Katze und der General in 2018. In its German edition, The Eighth Life was a bestseller, and won the Anna Seghers Prize, the Lessing Prize Stipend, and the Bertolt Brecht Prize 2018. It is being translated into many languages, and has already been a major bestseller on publication in Holland, Poland, and Georgia.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Ruth
Martin

Freelance literary translator. Recent books include: Nino Haratischvili’s novel THE EIGHTH LIFE (co-translated with Charlotte Collins, Scribe 2019); THE CORAL MERCHANT (a collection of Joseph Roth’s short stories, Pushkin Press, 2020); Kai Strittmatter’s WE HAVE BEEN HARMONISED (Old Street, 2019) and Volker Weidermann’s DREAMERS (Pushkin Press, 2018).

Freelance literary translator. Recent books include: Nino Haratischvili’s novel THE EIGHTH LIFE (co-translated with Charlotte Collins, Scribe 2019); THE CORAL MERCHANT (a collection of Joseph Roth’s short stories, Pushkin Press, 2020); Kai Strittmatter’s WE HAVE BEEN HARMONISED (Old Street, 2019) and Volker Weidermann’s DREAMERS (Pushkin Press, 2018).

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Charlotte
Collins

Charlotte Collins is a British literary translator of contemporary literature and drama from German.

Collins studied English literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, then trained in acting at The Poor School, London. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in the UK and Germany before becoming a translator. She was Co-Chair of the Translators Association from 2017-2020, and is the creator of the Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translation series.

Charlotte Collins is a British literary translator of contemporary literature and drama from German.

Collins studied English literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, then trained in acting at The Poor School, London. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in the UK and Germany before becoming a translator. She was Co-Chair of the Translators Association from 2017-2020, and is the creator of the Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translation series.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The Eighth Life (for Brilka) by the Georgian writer Nino Haratischwili is a monumental political novel about the demise of a family, a culture and a way of life.  The charming Nitsa is the descendant of a Georgian top chocolatier. She describes her family history to her niece Brilka. Six generations of strong women are discussed. They are intelligent, beautiful, colorful, brave, magical and exceptional women. The family history immediately becomes the history of Georgia with its communist regime and the consequences of the Russian occupation.

This book of considerable size remains fresh and light due to the construction, style and content. The novel has an original setting, it’s cleverly told, in a baroque style, full of irony. Despite the horrors described it never gets a gloomy character.  This classical epic with its magical-realistic elements has the allures of the great Russian novels. In short Pasternak meets Márquez.

Openbare Bibliotheek Brugge (Bruges Public Library), Belgium

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
Georgia
Original Language
German
Publisher
Scribe Publications
Translator
Charlotte Collins, Ruth Martin
Translation
Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin

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