Update March: This residency has been cancelled

Dato Turashvili writer in residence at NIAS-KNAW

1 Feb-20 March 2020

Georgian writer Dato Turashvili was invited to stay as writer in residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Amsterdam for one semester. This residency is a fellowship organised by the Dutch Foudantion for Literature together with NIAS-KNAW. Turashvili planned to write a book in Amsterdam about a Dutch man who becomes part of the Georgian independence movement in the 1910s. Unfortunately the residency, which started in February and was intended to last until July, had to be cancelled in March because of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Dato Turashvili (1966) is a Georgian fiction writer – author of novels, travel stories, theatre plays and movie scripts. He is one of Georgia’s leading intellectuals. In the late 1980s, Turashvili led the student protest movements against the Soviet regime in his home country. Since then, he published 17 books, including The Flight from the USSR (2008). This book is based on the Tbilisi-hijacking in 1983, when nine young Georgians hijacked a plane from Tbilisi to Leningrad in the hopes of fleeing to Turkey. It was translated into Dutch as Weg uit de USSR (Cossee) and was received with great acclaim.

From February until June 2020, Dato Turashvili will work on a novel that takes place in the brief period of Georgian independence from Russia between 1918 and 1921. It will explore the Dutch involvement in the making of the young independent Republic. During his residency, Turashvili’s second novel in Dutch translation will be published: Another Amsterdam, in which he describes the history of his own grandfather who fought the nazi’s in the Second World War in the Netherlands.

Portrait Dato Turashvili; cover image Weg uit de USSR

The Writer in Residence programme

The Writer in Residence programme is a collaboration between NIAS and the Dutch Foundation for Literature and aims to stimulate the exchange between arts and sciences. Former writers-in-residence include Ghayath Almadhoun, Hélène Gelèns, Lieve Joris, David Mitchell and David van Reybrouck.

Read more about his project on the website of NIAS-KNAW.