Dato Turashvili, a mountaineer and anti-Soviet student leader turned novelist, playwright and screenwriter, was born in Tbilisi in 1966. He studied literature, film and art history at Tbilisi, London and Madrid universities, and was an activist in the Rose revolution of 2003 that ousted President Eduard Shevardnadze. His new 60-minute play Republic of Georgia had a staged reading by Voyage Theater Company at the New York Public Library in April 2019, in a translation by Madonna Tkhelidze. Dato has written more than 17 books, many of them translated into several languages. The bestselling novel Jeans Generation is based on the true story of seven young Georgians who hijacked a Soviet airliner in 1983 to escape to the West – most of whom were executed. Powerfully emblematic of a trapped generation, the novel began as a popular stage play for the Georgian Free Theatre in 2001 and is translated into English by Maya Kiasashvili as Flight from the USSR. Turashvili, a popular TV book-show host in Georgia, appeared on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme during the UK’s first festival of Georgian writers, Where Europe Meets Asia: Georgia25. He also translates prose and poetry from Russian, Spanish and English, and has taken part in mountaineering expeditions in the Caucasus, Andes and Himalayas.