Zaza Burchuladze

Zoorama Zoorama. 421 pages
Tropen Verlag Germany 2022
Awards: 2023 SABA Award Best Georgian Novel 2022
Foreign rights: Georgia/ Sulakauri

There is an animal in each of us, they say. But is there also a human being in each of us?

A young Georgian family in the middle of Berlin's gray winter. Exiles who must start a new life and yet are haunted by the old one. And a high-rise that is hermetically sealed, but seems to house the whole insane world, fugitive generals, escaped zoo animals and lots of rubbish. There is hardly any room for the future. An intense novel about losing and finding language and family as the ultimate community in an inhospitable present.

Everything gets out of joint. Especially when you live in isolation with your family. A father whose sex is constantly changing like that of a clown fish. A young woman who always keeps calm. A child who constantly plays with words. A young family, digital nomads in the middle of a faceless metropolis, in addition isolated by lockdown for some time. When they leave for a child's birthday party on the other side of town, they encounter strange doppelgangers and a nightmarish story. They are locked in a house surrounded by electric fences. It's gigantic, features a café, health club, bomb shelter, anti-aircraft defenses, a crematorium. Fugitive generals, armed civilians and escaped animals from a flooded zoo populate the hallways. Human and animal, inside and outside, man and woman, civilian and military - the boundaries blur, and it becomes increasingly uncertain who is who and what is what.

Zoorama is the venomous mixture of an insane world.