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In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months and overlapping by one month, it is time to announce the September–October 2022 topic challenge.

Based on the number of votes (+5,-0), the next topic challenge of the year 2022 will be Lasha Bugadze.


What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main Meta post. In short, during September and October 2022 you are invited to try to read some of the works by Lasha Bugadze and ask questions about them.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, and questions on other works and authors are more than welcome during September and October too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of one or more of the works of Lasha Bugadze and asking good questions about it (or them).
Questions should be tagged with the appropriate work tag, , and . We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is Rand al'Thor's presentation:

Lasha Bugadze

This Georgian author achieved national notoriety in the early 2000s when his short story "პირველი რუსი" ("The First Russian" - available online in Georgian), about the failed marriage of Queen Tamar with Yuri Bogolyubsky and published when the author was only 23 years old, caused a national controversy. Bugadze was censured in the Georgian Parliament and threatened with excommunication by the Georgian Orthodox Church, supposedly for disrespecting Georgia's national identity.

Years later, in 2017, when the dust from this scandal had settled, Bugadze went on to write the novel პატარა ქვეყანა (A Small Country), a fictionalised semi-autobiographical account of what he and his family went through after he wrote "The First Russian". An excerpt from the beginning of this novel can be read at Words Without Borders. This novel won the Saba, IliaUni, and Writers’ House Litera prizes in 2018 for the best novel of the year in Georgia.

All of this sounds like fascinating stuff to explore, and we don't have a single question on the site yet. This topic challenge would enable us to get into the unique history and culture of Georgia as well as this controversial writer's life and its self-fictionalisation.

What's next?

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  • I've only been able to find one book-length English writing by him on Amazon. Are there other sources? 2 days ago

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