Longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize
The debut novel from an internationally acclaimed Georgian writer and film director.
Lela knows two things: her history teacher must die and she must start a new life beyond the pear field. On the outskirts of Tbilisi, in a newly independent Georgia, is the Residential School for Intellectually Disabled Children – or, as the locals call it, the School for Idiots. Abandoned by their parents, the pupils here receive lessons in violence and neglect. At eighteen, Lela is old enough to leave, but with nowhere to go she stays and plans, both for her own escape and for the future she hopes to give Irakli, a young boy at the school. When a couple from the USA decide they want to adopt a child, Lela is determined to do everything she can to help Irakli make the most of this chance.