Reading 13 June 2018


20:00 Location: Berlin Book shop Montag, Pappelallee 25, 10437 Berlin, Germany Organizer: Georgian National Book Center, Literaturtest, Book shop Montag

Author: Tamar Tandashvili
Moderator: Zaal Andronikashvili
Publisher: Rezidenz Verlag

Tamar’s first fictional text Snowstorm of Orange Dandelions is a novel. It was published in May 2016 and has been gaining vast popularity in Georgia. The book follows psychiatrist on a journey with survivors of physical and sexual abuse. Facing cruelty inflicted by “otherwise ordinary citizens” and dealing with impaired lives of trauma victims the protagonist abandons prominent social and psychological theories of violence and turns to conventional daily ambiance of the capital of Georgia. The stories of her patients point to a culturally distinctive source for the philosophy behind disregarding human dignity and subjugating one’s life course to custom-made familial roles. The foundation for this sort of societally tolerated forms of violence against women lies in the patriarchal establishment of her newly democratized homeland where rape is assisted by church-promoted and culturally embraced misogyny. Having suffered humiliation and denigration of unparalleled subjective and social scales female and male survivors of sexual assault remain linguistically and culturally mute. Due to discursive blind-spot on this particular form of violence numerous cases of sexual exploitation, humiliation and torture remain publicly nonverbalized and untold in Georgia. Tamar’s novel is a literary form of ethnographic witness account. The only admissible method for salvaging the survivors’ dignity in a rape culture by means of telling the truth with imagined particulars and factual authenticity. Along with its definite focus on the personhood-belittling philosophy of patriarchy long-desired social justice in “Snowstorm of Orange Dandelions” represents means to the end of human flourishing. Quest for phenomenon bigger than human prosperity is markedly superior psychological drive among the novel’s characters. The text boasts distinctive multi-vocal style: one reads voices pertaining to different genders, geography, social strata and even historical epochs. In spite of idiomatic sophistication the narrative flows with ease and elegance making the story extensive but whole. The story’s finale is the same unorthodox as its entire textual structure. This is the book with its feet firmly on the ground and the head looking for alternative existential universes.