The Eighth Life

(Author) (Translator)
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6.0 X 9.2 X 2.3 inches | 2.7 pounds

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About the Author

Nino Haratischvili was born in Georgia in 1983, and is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and theatre director. At home in two different worlds, each with their own language, she has been writing in both German and Georgian since the age of twelve. In 2010, her debut novel, Juja, was nominated for the German Book Prize, as was Die Katze und der General in 2018. Her third novel, The Eighth Life, has been translated into many languages and is an international bestseller. It won the Anna Seghers Prize, the Lessing Prize Stipend, and the Bertolt Brecht Prize, and was longlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2020. She lives in Berlin.

Ruth Martin studied English literature before gaining a PhD in German. She has been translating fiction and nonfiction books since 2010, by authors ranging from Joseph Roth and Hannah Arendt to Volker Weidermann and Shida Bazyar. She has taught translation at the University of Kent and the Bristol Translates summer school, and is a former co-chair of the Society of Authors Translators Association.

Charlotte Collins studied English at Cambridge University. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in both Germany and the U.K. before becoming a literary translator. She previously translated Robert Seethaler's novelThe Tobacconist.

"This multigenerational epic...offers not only a critique of Soviet and Russian imperial ambitions but a necessary reappraisal of Georgian history."

-- "The New Yorker"

"Something rather extraordinary happened. The world fell away and I fell, wholly, happily, into the book... My breath caught in my throat, tears nestled in my lashes... devastatingly brilliant."
--Wendell Steavenson, The New York Times Book Review

"This multigenerational epic... offers not only a critique of Soviet and Russian imperial ambitions but a necessary reappraisal of Georgian history."
--The New Yorker

"[A]n exceptional, deeply evocative saga of an elite Georgian family as they endure the 20th century's political upheavals, from before the Bolshevik Revolution through the post-Soviet era... In heartfelt prose, Haratischvili seamlessly weaves the political upheaval around the characters into the love and loss in their lives. Haratischvili's epic portrait of a close-knit family doubles as a stunning tribute to the power of resilience." STARRED REVIEW
--Publishers Weekly

"This novel has generated substantial industry buzz and international critical praise. Both are justified... The Eighth Life--the story of a family, a country, a century--is an imaginative, expansive, and important read." STARRED REVIEW
--Bethany Latham, Booklist

"If it's a family saga you're seeking, look no further than this grand tale... The author gracefully interweaves the historical backdrop of her novel with the lives of her characters, thus adding depth to her story. Heartily recommended." STARRED REVIEW
--Edward B. Cone, Library Journal

"This is a long, rewarding novel...ably translated through a collaborative process. It makes for an engrossing book. Haratischvili has created a fascinating cast (and it's easy to imagine it as a television series) whose lives illuminate some of the greatest events of the 20th century."
--Declan O'Driscoll, The Irish Times

"Elegant... it demonstrates a technical mastery, impressively sustained... The Eighth Life is more than a family saga: it is an ode, a lamentation, a monument--to Georgia, its people, its past and future."
--Bryan Karetnyk, TLS

"The Eighth Life is capacious, voluble, urgent, readable, translated heroically and sparklingly by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin."
--Julian Evans, The Telegraph

"Spanning six generations of a family between 1900 and the 21st century, its characters travel to Tbilisi, Moscow, London and Berlin in an epic story of doomed romance that combines humor with magic realism."
--Marta Bausells, The Guardian, 'Ten of the best new books in translation'

"Nino Haratischvili's elegant epic... is a triumph of both authorship and painstaking translation... The Eighth Life is an unforgettable love letter to Georgia and the Caucasus, to lives led and to come, and to writing itself."
--The Economist

"The Eighth Life... is a lavish banquet of family stories that can, for all their sorrows, be devoured with gluttonous delight. Nino Haratischvili's characters... come to exuberant life. Her huge novel... shows a double face, its crushing pain and loss nonetheless conveyed with an artful storyteller's sheer joy in her craft."
--Boyd Tonkin, The Financial Times

"The novel of the year."
--Der Spiegel

"No doubt Nino Haratischwili is one of the most important voices in contemporary German literature."
--Die Zeit

"[T]his sprawling epic of love and loss... The Eighth Life is an expansive and hopeful tale centered on family touched by war and revolution."
--Foreword Reviews

"It is an ambitious undertaking, but the author retains a firm grasp on her material and knows exactly how she wishes to present the human cost and consequences to a family facing war and colliding ideologies... I finished by applauding the vision, boldness and passionate commitment."
--Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail

"Sometimes I wonder how many people harbor a secret desire to write a book about their family's entire history. I have certainly met enough women in my life who have expressed this explicitly, especially the stories shared by their mothers and grandmothers--the implication being that we don't get enough of these stories in literature or biographies. It is perhaps for this reason that reading Nino Haratischwili's The Eighth Life, translated by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin, feels so familiar, almost like a wish fulfilled... The Eighth Life has deservedly been compared to Tolstoy's War & Peace."
--Barbara Halla, Asymoptote

"[A]n epic--a magnificent, sprawling family saga that captures the suffering and pride of the Georgian people throughout the tumult of the twentieth century. The writing is rich and the characters full-blooded. Simply put, The Eighth Life is Georgia's Gone with the Wind."
--Words Without Borders

"Once I finished this amazing family tale, the gold is worn off the cover in places, but the memories that made for a story told well will remain with me. I felt part of this family as I traveled with them through time and history; as they shared with me all the threads of their woven carpet, generations old... I loved this amazing book."
--Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore

"It's definitely the best work of fiction I've read in the last year."
--John Leake, Novel Bookstore

"The scope is Tolstoyan: the drama of War and Peace, the emotion of Anna Karenina... A sprinkling of Allendesque magic realism is added, along with a handful of spirits and a secret recipe for delicious and addictive hot chocolate that appears to curse those who drink it."
--Lizzy Siddal, The Riveter

"The Eighth Life is capacious, voluble, urgent, readable, translated heroically and sparklingly by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin."
--Julian Evans, Stuff

"If you only read one book this year make sure it is The Eighth Life... Intricately crafted and addictive, The Eighth Life is an extraordinary, dramatic and compelling read... The ambitious, vivid and unflinching translation from the original German by Ruth Martin and Charlotte Collins is in itself a work of art, and deserves to win every translation prize going."

"[A] generational saga of 20th-century Georgia with the drama and grandeur to be Georgia's Gone With the Wind."
--Lit Hub

"Everybody requires a new, vigorous narrative of European ideals, of the European past... Nino Haratischwili has created this narrative in her new novel."
--Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

"Nino Haratischwili has written a great book: a book which ranges over a century and half of the globe; a book however, within which--as in the infant's experience--everything is only love and dread. It is a coup!"
--Süddeutsche Zeitung

"Not only in its length does this novel resemble the work of Boris Pasternak. You will not want to put it down. The red century devours a family, and history comes with a pinch of chocolate--Like Water for Chocolate, even."

"The Eighth Life is a sprawling family saga, to be savored for its grandeur, scope and scale... Interwoven with love, loss, trumps and tragedy are the uncanny impacts of a family recipe for divine hot chocolate, which just might carry a curse... enthralling and satisfying." FIVE STARS
--Maureen Eppen, Good Reading

"This multi-award winning novel is a riveting read... You too often want to pause and appreciate delightful twists, intriguing concepts, the catch-your-breath unexpected."
--The Australian

"The Eighth Life is the sort of book that sweeps you along, sustaining a tremendous feeling of urgency, as if the narrator... is desperate to get it all out, get it all on paper, before the family curse catches up with her."
--The Saturday Paper

"A harrowing, heartening and utterly engrossing epic novel... astonishing... A subtle and compelling translation by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin (on the heels of a Georgian version earlier this year) should make this as great a literary phenomenon in English as it has been in German."
--The Guardian

"This is one for long-haul flights or the Christmas lock-in."
--Aer Lingus