Archil Kikodze is a fiction writer, screenwriter, actor, award-winning professional photographer, eco-guide and birdwatcher. Born in 1972 in Tbilisi, he started writing at the age of 21 and has published four short story collections and a volume of collected essays. The Story of a Bird and a Man won the Saba prize in 2014 for best short stories. He read oriental studies at Tbilisi State University, and film and drama at Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University. He co-wrote the documentary Spring in Javakheti, played the lead role in the feature Blind Dates (2013), and was a screenwriter on Tbilisi, I Love You (2014). His first novel, The Southern Elephant, won the IliaUni and Writers’ House Litera prizes for best novel of the year in 2017. On single day in Tbilisi, its filmmaker protagonist wanders around the city to make way for a friend’s tryst in his apartment, but the day brings a reappraisal of his own past and the city’s history. An extract, translated by Maia Kiasashvili, will appear in Words Without Borders to coincide with the festival. A guide to wild nature and ecotourism, Archil is also the author of several guidebooks, including a tourist guide to Tusheti National Park. In the early 1990s he participated in rescue expeditions involving refugees in the mountains, and has worked in a rehabilitation centre for victims of torture. You can read an extract from Archil Kikodze’s novel The Southern Mammoth, translated by Maya Kiasashvili, on Words Without Borders.