Flight from the USSR, the first novel from one of Georgia’s most famous author, Dato Turashvili, was originally published in Georgia in 1988. Since then, it has been adapted as a stage play entitled “Jeans Generation” and translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Greek and Croatian; receiving brilliant reviews everywhere.
The novel is based upon an electrifying and tragic event in 1983. Gega Kobakhidze, a young actor, and seven friends hijack an airplane heading from Tbilisi to Leningrad. They desperately want to flee from the USSR and go to Turkey. They fail, are imprisoned and a number are killed. All of Georgia and the world were caught up in these events. Turashvili is a master of drama, with a precise and compelling sense of dialogue, his characterizations are complex but powerful, his story-line is totally engrossing, and we do not want to believe the inevitable and disastrous conclusion. He weaves a gripping literary work between historical fact and fiction, leaving the reader transfixed.
Dato Turashvili was born in Tbilisi in 1966, studied literature, history of art and film at Tbilisi State University and then, in Madrid and London. He also studied film and dramaturgy. His political activism started in 1988/89 with student protests in Georgia and was continued in 2003 and the Rose Revolution which forced the resignation of President Shevardnadze. He has written short stories, film scripts, novels, and prize-winning plays. He has twice won the very prestigious SABA Prize and has published sixteen books. His works have been translated into seven languages as his international reputation has grown steadily.