Stories from the Crossroads of Europe and Asia: “The Book of Tbilisi” (Comma Press)

On Art and Aesthetics

The Book of Tbilisi edited by Becca Parkinson and Gvantsa Jobava (2017, Comma Press)

I have two posts from Georgia—the paintings of Otar Imerlishvili and the photography of Dimitri Mais. The first set of images is magical, with street and domestic scenes containing humour and irony. The second is realistic—not dark or depressing—but carrying dust, a certain amount of decay and signs of stagnation, exploring hardship.

These two visions of the former Soviet republic—the dreamy/fantastic and the more concrete/practical—converge in The Book of Tbilisi, a collection of short stories published by Manchester-based Comma Press (@commapress). Consider these descriptions:

A piece of romantic graffiti chalked outside a new apartment block sends its residents into a social media frenzy, trying to identify the two lovers implicated by it….

A war-orphaned teenager looks after his dying sister in an abandoned railway carriage on the edge of town, hoping that someday soon…

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