Project Description


Tamta Melashvili’s first novel Counting Out (2010), about two teenage girls in a provincial town in an unnamed war zone, was written in the aftermath of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, and won the Saba prize for best debut. An extract translated by Elizabeth Heighway was published in Words Without Borders. Born in 1979 in Ambrolauri, Georgia, Tamta studied international relations in Tbilisi and gender studies at the Central European University in Budapest, and now teaches at Tbilisi State University – the first university in Georgia and the south Caucasus, founded in 1918. She began to write during a year in Germany, and her books include the non-fiction Georgian Women in Germany: Empowerment through Migration? (2009). Her second novel, Eastwards, set in contemporary Georgia, in part questions the authorship of 14 pseudonymous poems by Elene Dariani that are attributed to the Georgian Symbolist poet Paolo Iashvili – some of whose poetry was translated by Boris Pasternak – who shot himself in the Writers’ Union in Tbilisi in 1937 during Stalin’s great purge. You can read an extract from Tamta Melashvili’s novel Eastwards, translated by Donald Rayfield, on Words Without Borders.

Saturday 27 February – 15.15 – 16.35