The Eighth Life (for Brilka) by Nino Haratischvili, translated from German by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin, has been announced as the 2020 winner of the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.
Already a best-seller in numerous translations, The Eighth Life, first published in German in 2014 and the novelist’s third book, is an epic tale of six generations of one family as written down by the fifth of those generations, Nina Jashi, for her niece Brilka. We follow the characters from Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, to St Petersburg, Prague, Vienna, London, and Berlin. On the way we see how the family’s history is entwined with that of their Georgian homeland.
Judge Susan Bassnett says of The Eighth Life: ‘A terrific book. At 934 pages it may look daunting at first, but as soon as you begin to read, Nino Haratischvili's story-telling skills draw you in to the multifaceted narrative. Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin have done a superb job, maintaining the lightness of narrative touch and moving between the many voices of the different generations. I loved this book’. Judge Amanda Hopkinson adds: ‘This is a “Red Century” of family history, from the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union; circling western European capitals and returning to Tbilisi. The opening recipe for an Elysian drinking chocolate, passed on through the generations, is symbolic of temptations, excesses and secrets to come. Finely, impressively co-translated by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin, this volume is heavy to lift but becomes impossible to put down!’
The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation is awarded annually to the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction, work of fiction for children or young adults, graphic novel, or play text, written by a woman, translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender, and published by a UK or Irish publisher.