Project Description

Zurab Karumidze

Zurab Karumidze won Georgia’s top literary award, the Saba, for his history of jazz music, The Life of Jazz (2009), and his latest novel, Untergang: A Journey to Europe, won the 2019 Writers’ House Litera prize. Born in 1957, he graduated in English from Tbilisi State University and wrote his PhD thesis on John Donne, before later studying postmodernist American fiction as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His novel written in English, Dagny or a Love Feast (2006), was inspired by the Norwegian poet and dramatist Dagny Juel, muse to both Munch and Strindberg,  who was killed by a lover in a Tbilisi hotel room in 1901. His other novels include Caucasian Foxtrot (2011) and Jazzmine (2014), tracing the clandestine invasion of jazz into Georgia after the CIA launched the VOA jazz program in 1956, intending to plant the seeds of liberation in the Eastern Bloc. He co-edited Enough: Rose Revolution in the Republic of Georgia (2003), and edited In Search of Lost Space: Politics of Culture in Post-Soviet Georgia (2010) and the essays in English, Georgias European Ways: Political and Cultural Perspectives (2015). He advises the Georgian government on foreign policy.

Sunday 28 February – 16.45 – 17.30