Until only recently, Georgia was part of a country whose falsity began with its very name. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as it was called in full. Four assertions, and all four of them lies! Nevertheless, we lived, laughed, grieved, joked, studied, and experienced both fear and joy all the same.
Gathered together here are 70 stories that recount the personal experiences of 70 authors, or of individuals very close to them. The majority of these people were unfortunate enough to spend a significant portion of their lives in the sort of country that you talk about and talk about, and can no longer believe yourself what you’re saying.
Why there are 70 stories should be clear: there’s one for every year that the USSR existed – an entire lifetime! But why the same number of authors? Couldn’t fewer artisans of the pen and word (of whom you’ll encounter many here) have managed more? The thing is that each one of us lived through a Soviet Union of our own, filled with our own experiences both bitter and sweet. I believe that the canvas we have succeeded in painting together is far more engaging, and far closer to the truth.
This book first came out in Georgian. We felt that an English version would be beneficial as well: for those readers with whom we share a common Soviet past, as well as for those intrigued by the Soviet world and its cuisine, but who view the Union and its legacy from outside and far away – listening and reading, yet to this day struggling to understand it all, never themselves having lived in a false country with a false name. – Buba Kudava