Gela Chkvanava

Born in 1967, in Sukhumi is a contemporary Georgian Writer. After finishing school, he was recruited into the army and assigned to an anti-missile unit in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). After military service Gela Chkvanava returned to Sukhumi and studied philology at Sukhumi University. The armed conflict broke out in Abkhazia when he was still a student. Everything he wrote before the war was abandoned in Sukhumi and destroyed when his house was burnt down. To distract himself from the war, and to gain experience in creative writing, he began work on several stories set in peacetime. His first success was in 2002, in the Pen-Marathon literary contest organised by Diogene Publishers. Since then, Gela’s works have been published in Georgia regularly. Russian translations of Chkvanava’s short stories have appeared in the St. Petersburg literary magazines, such as Neva and Kreshchatiki. His Debut book titled Local Colours won the author one of the country’s most sought-after literary awards, SABA 2005. Gela Chkvanava has won several literary awards and is regarded as one of the best modern Georgian writers. This refugee author claims that he has two sacred words: Sukhumi and Dzidzaria (the latter being the colourful street he once lived in), the main inspiration of all of his works, that resound with his authentic and sincere literary voice.

Anthologies featuring Gela Chkvanava

The Book of Tbilisi

The latest in our Reading the City series, The Book of Tbilisi will bring together ten short stories written about and from the Georgian capital, showcasing the work of some of the country’s most loved writers.