Ekaterine Togonidze [ Georgia ]
Georgian journalist, author, lecturer and activist for the rights of people with disabilities, Ekaterine Togonidze, was born in Tbilisi in 1981. She studied journalism at Ivane Javakhishvili State University in her native city, was a news anchor and later hosted had a morning show on the First Channel, Public Broadcaster of Georgia. She also worked as a Vlogger of TV Program “Thoughts of the week” on TV “Maestro”. She wrote for various Georgian newspapers and magazines. Since 2007, she has been involved in educational work at the different University of Georgia, teaching television journalism and rhetoric Media Management. In 2015-2020 She was a head of marketing and public relations department at Georgian-American University.
She played a leading role of a journalist who worked as a war reporter during the Georgian-Abkhazian military conflict in a new Georgian film “Liza, go on”, directed by Nana Janelidze. This conflict in Georgia (1992-1993) was provoked by Russia for the purpose of occupying.
Togonidze made her literary debut in 2011 with her short story collection »Anesthesia« (2011; Ukr. Анестезія), with which she introduced a new theme to Georgian literature: the discrimination against disabled people in society. Her narrative technique and the attention she drew to the psychological and social aspects of disabled people’s lives were particularly praised. The book was awarded the SABA Literary Prize for the best debut of the year in 2012.
She also was the winner of different literary competitions including the best story of the year (Sulakauri publishing prize), The BEST SHORT STORY (Literary Magazine) and the script development competition (Georgian National Film Center). She has got the Writing Scholarship of Writers’ House and was a scholarship holder for residency of Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (LCB), Germany two times.
Her first novel “Asynchrony” which was translated into German and published by Austrian publishing house “Septime” has aroused great interest among German-speaking readers. It tells the story of a pair of Siamese twins who perish under mysterious circumstances. Their father learns of their existence only after their deaths, and gradually he discovers the lives of his daughters through the diary entries, which reveal very different personalities. Until their grandmother’s death, they lived a life of isolation from the impoverished outside world of post-Soviet Georgia, then they were defenselessly exposed to sexual and psychological abuse and forced to work as freaks in the circus.
Her latest novel, »Shin-Shen« (2020; tr: You – Home Hurricane) became a best-seller immediately after its release. An earthquake shakes the world of the protagonist Nia to the core. A crack on the house indicates the destruction of what is most precious – family, relationship, future. But life offers Nia a second chance, a long-awaited film role, and with the filming begins a new, parallel reality – art as a refuge.
Togonidze was an official guest of the Leipzig Book Fair in 2013 and an official participant of Frankfurt Book Fair 2018. Her texts have also appeared in magazines in Georgia and abroad, and have been translated into English, German, Czech, Russian, and Abkhazian. According to Sputnik-Georgia, she is one of the top 10 contemporary Georgian writers. The author lives in Tbilisi.
2011 ANESTHESIA Collection of stories, Saunje publishing house, Tbilisi, Georgia
2013 ASYNCORONY Novel, Sulakauri publishing house, Tbilisi, Georgia
2016 LISTEN TO ME Collection of stories, Sulakauri publishing house, Tbilisi, Georgia
2016 T-H-E O-T-H-E-R W-A-Y Short novel, Sulakauri publishing house, Tbilisi, Georgia
2018 HURRICANE MARGO Novel, Sulakauri publishing house, Tbilisi, Georgia
2020 SHIN – SHEN Novel, Sulakauri publishing house, Tbilisi, Georgia
2013 DER ANDERE W-E-G short novel, translated from Georgian to German by Manana Tandashvili, anthology “Techno der Jaguar”, Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt, Germany
2018 EINSAME SCHWESTERN Novel, translated from Georgian to German by Nino Osepashvili & Eva Profousová, Septime Verlag, Vienna, Austria
2020 ORKAN Three stories, translated from Georgian to German by Katja Wolters, Septime Verlag, Vienna, Austria