Zaza Burchuladze

Foto: Simone Ahrend, sah-photo

Zaza Burchuladze was born in Tiflis in 1973 and describes himself as a contemporary postmodern novelist. Before he began to work as a writer and translator, he studied painting at the State Art Academy in Tiflis. He is the author of several novels, collections of essays, and short stories. As a freelance journalist, he wrote for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He has translated Dostoyevsky, Kharms und Sorokin into Georgian and taught Literature and contemporary art at the Caucasian Media Institute. His narratives startle the audience; his provocative subject matter and experimental way of writing is the reason he was chastised and disregarded by critics for a long time. Despite, since the publication of his novels, he is regarded as a major writer of the post-Soviet era in the Georgian Republic. Several of his works were translated into Russian, Polish, Romanian, English and French. His novel Adibas is due to be released in German in the autumn of 2015. Inflatable Angel was honored as the best Georgian novel. In his novels, Zaza Burchuladze again and again takes up themes which in his country are considered taboos: he writes texts about political conformity, stories about violence and brutality, addressing ideological and religious topics as well as sexuality. Together with his intellectual friends, he has often stood in the front line of many protests and exchanged harsh words with newspaper and TV journalists. In his country, characterized by the strong influence of religion, he was often persecuted for his open verbal provocations. Finally, Burchuladze was severely threatened and beaten on the streets of his home town. Even though some 100 of his colleagues reported this incident, nothing has been done to apprehend the culprits. And the appeal by Georgian PEN not to confuse the protagonists of his novel with the author himself has fallen on deaf ears. Since January 2014, after a year’s stay at the Heinrich Böll House, until January 2017 Zaza Burchuladze had been a guest of the Writers in Exile Program of German PEN living in Berlin. His new book Touristenfrühstück was published in the spring of 2017.