Format: 135 x 195 mm
Word: ≈ 50 000
Author: Archil Kikodze
The Southern Elephant is one of the best Georgian novels of the 21st century. It has two main characters, the narrator and his friend Tazo, both victims of a school bullying. They both used to dream of becoming film directors but their lives took a wrong turn: after not taking an action to save a child, Tazo becomes a victim of his conscience and turns into an introvert who barely leaves home. Meanwhile, the narrator directs one film that turns to be successful. However, he gives up directing because a fatal accident occurs while shooting another film.
The whole novel is about one day and develops as follows: Tazo asks the narrator to let him stay in his apartment for a day because he wants to bring in his new crush. The narrator agrees, goes out to have a walk and leaves those two in peace. He wanders in the streets of Tbilisi and starts to reflect on his life.
He tries to examine every moment of his life from a different angle. In the end the novel transforms from the story of one man to the history of independent Georgia.
The novel is about moral dilemmas and how to remain and survive as a human – yet it doesn’t advise. In the last pages A. Kikodze offers an ‘ugly’ version of a happy end, which makes the whole novel candid and sincere.
“The novel our city was waiting for so long.”
© Levan Berdzenishvili, philologist
“In contemporary Georgian fiction The Southern Elephant manages to catch “Zeitgeist” as perfectly as no other novel can.”
© Zaal Andronikashvili, literary critic
“That’s it! That’s The Southern Elephant – the story of the generation that faced a terrible monster in a dead-end.”
© Ana Kordzaia-Samadashvili, writer
“Phenomenally interesting text. Kikodze wrote subtle and suggestive novel which seems to be incomparable in contemporary Georgian literature.”
© Nikoloz Agladze, literary critic