Georgian Service correspondent Jimsher Rekhviashvili has won the Litera State Award from the Georgian Culture Ministry and the House of Writers in the category “Best Novel/Collection of Stories.” Rekhviashlivi won the award for his collection of short stories, Esau's Hands.
Five prizes were awarded to writers in the other categories, which included prose, poetry, debut work, children's book, and book design. Rekhviashlivi, who writes under the literary pseudonym Dato Kardava, won the prose nomination. The winners were announced at an April 20 ceremony in Tbilisi.
“We are very proud of Jimsher because the competition was tough,” said Georgian Service Director David Kakabadze. “It was great to receive a win for the company.”
Rekhviashvili’s collection was published in 2015 by INTELEKTI publishing. It is his second collection of short stories. His first, Noah’s Doves, was published in 2005. The eclectic body of stories ranges from that of a weatherman to a psychological thriller about a man on trial for murdering his wife. The stories are not connected by plot or characters, but are all contemporary fictional stories.
“The grotesque that permeates Dato Kardava’s novellas not only entertains readers but saddens them, motivating them to think, impelling them to re-read the book,” reads the book’s jacket description. “Another great appeal of the book is its truthfulness. The stories seem all too real.”
Rekhviashvili has worked for RFE/RL's Georgian Service for five years, initially as a stringer from the city of Rustavi, and later at the Georgian Service's Tbilisi bureau. He specializes in reporting on social issues.
The Litera State Award was established this year by the Georgian Culture Ministry. Each winner was awarded 5,000 Georgian lari [2,267 dollars] at the awards ceremony.
RFE/RL's Georgian Service is widely regarded as the only objective and unbiased source of information in the country. Radio Tavisupleba, as it is known locally, is a rare source of balanced journalism in a country where much of the press openly supports, both editorially and through the selection of news, either the government or the opposition.