Refugee Trauma in Teona Dolenjashvili’s Novel The Bird Won’t Fly Out

Main Article Content

Nino Mindiashvili


Research of cultural concepts of traumatic memory is becoming increasingly relevant in the scientific discourse. The in-depth study of the aforementioned topic has to be conducted by considering the historic memory, which creates basis for the range of researches in different directions of humanitarian sciences. Scholars agree that the 20th century wars, psychological stress and historic memory have made the world to face new challenges, which, of course, was also reflected in theoretical discourse.

In post-soviet Georgian literary narrative there are numerous fiction texts reflecting the collective trauma, the main marker of which is the representation of epochal tragedies, on the one hand, and subjective point of view and approach of writer towards the topic, on the other hand.

Reflection of conflicts in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali was represented in Georgian literature in various ways, which is shown in the interpretations of national identity as far as the tragedies taken place in the homeland allow to understand the historic memory and to correctly perceive moral values. In this regard, interesting is Teona Dolenjashvili’s novel The Bird Won’t Fly Out is the most interesting. The text is based on real stories of refugees from Abkhazia and Syria, allowing the author to present the essence of displacement, as of one of the most painful problem of the epoch, in the global context. Nata, refugee girl from Abkhazia carries the stigma of displacement. She has escaped from the burning Sukhumi at the age of six, yet he constantly lives with these painful memories that have not been eased even by time. Furthermore, the trauma forced on her in her childhood, has forever changed her worldview, and even as a famous photojournalist, she is constantly haunted by the war.

This novel fits perfectly into the theoretical framework of postcolonialism and trauma. With sharp emotional passages the author manages to highlight the displacement (being a refugee) as a collective trauma, concept, against the background of war, the most destructive event for the humankind.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

The Post-Soviet Literary Space and the World after Cold War