A Bird Won’t Fly Out
- Modern Georgian Prose
“Does this city look like mine? Probably not, as the wars and ruins of different cities create different sculptures out of death… “ – thinks to herself the main character of the novel, Nata, while walking the streets of Alepo. At the age of six, she had escaped from burning Sokhumi, and, years after she is in Siria on a job mission as a photo reporter from one of the publishing houses in Paris.
The author points Nata’s camera to the people whom the war has turned into living ghosts: Isida – who is operated on without anesthesia; Abula who has been turned into a chemical weapon into the government’s hands; Maryam who is being prepared to become a Jihad bride; Rihman who is planning to restore Palmira destroyed by the terrorists… Alongside the stories of these persons we get to know Nata, we learn how she left Sokhumi, how she crossed Tchuberi, we learn about her sick little sister, their defeated father and their unbreakable mother; people who froze to death on their way, and who, hoping to be found and buried by their families one day, had tied their names on their hands… The author tells these stories of empathy on one hand, and of deception on the other, through a six years old girl’s narrative, and this childish manner of storytelling is so convincing that the stories becomes even more heartbreaking.
A lot has been written about the horrors of war. We all know theoretically that there is no winner in the war but, unfortunately, this knowledge seems to disappear from the memory of the humankind like the war diaries of the main character of the novel, little Isida: “Turns out, I was writing with a white chalk on a white wall, so everything was condemned to be erased and disappear without a trace from the very beginning"…