Barnboksveckans gäster 2018: Nino Sadgobelashvili

Nino Sadgobelashvili är en georgisk författare, poet och dramatiker född 1980.
Nino är utbildad vid georgiska statens kulturinstitut och arbetar vid sidan av sitt skrivande som lärare och litteraturrecensent. I sina böcker utforskar hon ämnen som kärlek, moderskap, livet och döden. Hon har även regiserat ett flertal pjäser för georgisk teater och film. 2016 tilldelades hon georgiska kulturministeriets pris Litera för sin barnbok Treasure Theatre som bygger på Amirani vilket är den georgiska motsvarigheten till myten om Prometheus

IB: Why did you become children’s books author?


Nino: This is a strange story. Once I met a foreigner who was fascinated by my country Georgia and its culture and he had a great wish of creating series of fairytales based on Georgian legends and myths. His wish had such a big influence on me that one fine day I started writing. I already knew the main myth that I was going to use as a foundation for the first book. The myth about Amiraniis believed to be a partial equivalent of Prometheus, however, the myth of Amirani is more profound and originates from earlier times. The first book was followed by the second one and for now I am in the process of writing the third book and I believe that these series of – ‘The Treasure Theatre’ makes room for lots of other adventures, heroes and heroines and joys.

I would admit that, for me, the genre of children’s literature appeared to be as significant and momentous as opening the new door. The universe has shown me unique here to fore unknown possibilities. Moreover, it revived a child in me, perhaps which means that it made me a bit better person.


IB: Do you believe that children’s books should be read by grown-ups as well?


Nino: It depends on the children’s book. The world has seen children’s books that both kids and grown-ups read with a big interest and passion. For me, these books are the true children’s books. For example, I will never get bored with reading Astrid Lindgren and I believe the whole world agree with me. Saint-Exupéry applies to all generations as well as Dickens, not to mention the authors of Fantasy books which attract equal number of readers among adults and children. 

So, I will repeat the simple truth – the most difficult is to write children’s books, it demands the greatest mastership, enjoyment, honesty and fortune.


IB: What do you like most – being a grown-up or a child?


Nino: Both. In general, I prefer all natural – the natural flow of life, the evolution of seed into fruit. Perhaps this is the biggest mystery of life and I am not going to miss any phase of it. But, to be a child, it is already a miracle. And miracles do not happen often. You can’t get used to them. They should attack and surprise you. I feel the child in me as a miracle.


IB: What do you want to tell with your books, poems and plays – do you have a specific theme or mission with them?


Nino: I think, every author has specific topics. For me, these topics are life and death, motherhood and love. The culture of my country, ethnography, spiritual thinking the inheritor of which I consider myself to be makes you to self-develop in depths of these themes, offers you fantastic construction material so you can become a good citizen at least.

Apart of this, nowadays there are plenty of challenges in Georgia as well as in the whole world. Innumerable local and global problems -social, cultural, identity or spiritual - an author should talk about. Even the children’s literature that allegedly should be independent from concrete ideologies and planned objectives (so that the latter does not look like a project), still reflects those problems. The more talentedly it is performed, the more immortalized and large-scaled the text is destined to be. Oliver Twist is considered as a Victorian story, but how eternal and what a human adventure it is!


IB: What is the biggest difference between writing a book and writing for the theater/cinema?


Nino: The difference can be in the principle of working. I find working on books as an alchemy, hard labor and self-sacrifice while writing for cinema or theatre is more about mastership, mastering your work thoroughly. Beyond the doubt, it is a fruit of fictional thinking and a part of creative energy as well, however, nowadays, some of the writing techniques of scripts and plays have been simplified and some has become complicated, you have to cooperate with a director and actors. It becomes a common product. When it comes to books, you are a director, a hero as well as an author of your own story and plus one strange eye staring at you with a feeling of the first reader sometimes as an opponent.


IB: Do you have a favorite among your books/plays/poems?


Nino: ‘The Flannelette Paradise‘ -  the story that has turned into a play and that appears to be momentous in my life and creative work – offered me many blessings. It is about a conflict in Abkhazia and depicts a story of mothers who became enemies of each other, who lost their children and share the same homeland… This play was adapted into film, as well; the play itself was staged at the Kutaisi Theatre for 10 years with a huge success.


IB: What are you working on right now?


Nino: Recently I wrote a play. For now I am in the process of writing the third book of ‘Treasure Theatre’ which is about to be completed in Autumn. At the same time, I am also writing a children’s play…


Fotograf: Nata Sopromadze