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The Pear Field

The Pear Field

Translated by Elizabeth Heighway from Georgian

Published by Peirene Press

Lela knows two things: her history teacher must die and she must start a new life beyond the pear field. On the outskirts of Tbilisi, in a newly independent Georgia, is the Residential School for Intellectually Disabled Children – or, as the locals call it, the School for Idiots. Abandoned by their parents, the pupils here receive lessons in violence and neglect. At 18, Lela is old enough to leave, but with nowhere to go she stays and plans, both for her own escape and for the future she hopes to give Irakli, a young boy at the school. When a couple from the USA decide they want to adopt a child, Lela is determined to do everything she can to help Irakli make the most of this chance.

 

About the Author

Nana Ekvtimishvili

Nana Ekvtimishvili, born in 1978 in Tbilisi, Georgia, is a writer and film director. She studied screenwriting and drama at Potsdam-Babelsberg. In 2013, with her partner Simon Groß, she directed the feature film In Bloom, which premiered at the 63rd Berlinale, where it won the CICAE Award. It went on to win numerous awards at festivals in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles and Sarajevo, and was also selected as Georgia’s entry for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The International Federation of Film Critics said it heralded a ‘rebirth for Georgian cinema’. Her latest film, My Happy Family, was released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. Published in 2015, The Pear Field is Ekvtimishvili’s first novel. It was awarded the Ilia State University prize for the best Georgian novel published in 2014-15; the Saba Literary Prize for best debut; and the Litera Prize, also for the best debut, given by the Writers’ House and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia. It has already been published in German and in Dutch to much critical acclaim.