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Love, memories, family, enduring friendships, cooking, movies, dogs, travels, hairstyles, and saying Yes to many No’s in a witty, yet often sentimental, journey of self-discovery…
You Will Have a Black Labrador is a collection of semiautobiographical essays forming a narrative about a modern Georgian woman. Her stories range from the search for a perfect romantic partner to exploring food as an integral part of the Georgian culture. Many of the vignettes center on childhood memories or weird family traditions, such as the way family members stay connected no matter if they’re deceased or alive. One essay reveals how making a simple omelette can change your life; and that No can be the most powerful word in any language. She shows us, too, that a haircut can be a tribute to the movies you love as well as a path to your freedom; and how owning a dog always brings unexpected experiences. In this poignantly humourous collection, reality mixes and interferes with an imaginative world in so many surprising ways.
read an excerpt...
‘That’s it,’ Annika, the vet, told me after the second injection. I bent over, burying my face into your fur, inhaling your smell, stroking your fluffy, velvety ears. I didn’t cry. ‘Bye, see you…’ I whispered, stood up, and left the room, still gripping your blue retractable leash. The other vet came in with a huge empty dog food bag and put your body inside, covered in a blanket, then zipped the bag up.
‘I’ll now call the burial service. It’s forty lari, and I won’t take anything for putting him down,’ she said. I paid and gave her your leash. ‘Give it to someone,’ I told her.
‘Yep, Figu was a happy dog, so let’s give it to someone who might need it,’ Annika agreed, and I left, into a sunny January afternoon.
My right hand still senses the grip of the leash, as if we’re going for a walk, and I hold the leash tight to avoid car bumpers and tires on which you regularly peed, as if we’re to avoid other dogs coming our way, because you, let’s be honest, were never properly socialized, and never really liked other dogs. You sure preferred humans, your squishy orange ball, and my slippers.
Before meeting you, I didn’t know what the hell ‘blue roan’ meant. All the cocker spaniels I’ve met or seen were either black or red coloured. But wait, no, that’s not true. Many years ago, there was one particular dog I adored....
about Nino Gugunishvili...
"You Will Have a Black Labrador" is Nino Gugunishvili’s recently released collection of short
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nino.gugunishvilia Rafflecopter giveaway
more personal "stuff" about Nino...
Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
Would you believe me if I tell you that before I started writing this book I had a reoccurring dream, of my deceased father, telling me: “You Will Have a Black Labrador!” There were three of us in that strange dream: me, my dad and my close friend.
When she decided to get her first-ever Labrador –Retriever puppy I thought, aha, that’s it! We got the message right! Meanwhile, I started writing short stories, published some of them, wrote more, and finally got to the idea of publishing a whole collection of essays. Everything was ready, the book was edited, proofread, edited again, and I loved the title I came up with. “Everything Personal!” I thought it showed the essence of the book perfectly, because yes, it was about personal, intimate things, but the weird dream kept returning.
Exactly one day before I was going to self-publish on Amazon, I saw that dream one last time. It freaked me out completely until I finally understood that “You Will Have a Black Labrador” was the title!
Why? Because for me it’s about life, and hoping for the many wonderful things ahead, about those deep, sometimes unexplainable ties we have with our loved ones, about the fragility of life and death, about the journeys we take and experiences that change us.
I grew up surrounded by some of the extraordinary women, my grandmothers, and I totally owed them a dedication.
Where do you get your storylines from?
Literary from everywhere. I believe that everything can be transformed into a story, you just have to carefully listen and remember. Did your friend just say a funny line? Why not write a story about it? I guess I’m a thief of those lines! Sometimes storylines come from memories, or from real-life situations, and sometimes they just come out of nowhere in your head.
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
It wasn’t easier from when I wrote my debut fiction novel “Friday Evening Eight O’Clock,” but it felt entirely different. It was all new to me to write in a creative nonfiction genre and mostly it had much more of the personal, biographical elements involved.
Do you only write one genre?
I’m a big fan of women’s fiction and Chick Lit. I love both telling stories and reading books about women; funny, mischievous, unpredictable, often vulnerable and real in their existential struggles. The fact that I started writing at all, was largely influenced by the books I’ve read in that genre.
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
I write at home, seated in my living room, with my laptop on an old wooden table. I’ve never tried to write anywhere but home because for me it’s the only comfortable space for writing. I need to be in the most familiar ambiance and close to the kitchen to make myself a double dose of a delicious Turkish coffee!
And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I hope I’m not wrong in saying that up until this moment, certain things that happened at different stages of my life all led me to write. The other day, I found our old typewriter and remembered how I typed on it as a child, completely shut off and mesmerized. Sometimes they were my own stories, other times paragraphs from the books I loved.
Several unfinished novels and stories later, I started writing my debut novel one winter afternoon several years ago, but even then, I couldn’t think of myself as a writer. I only realized afterward, that yes, this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life, that nothing for me is more enjoyable, more magical and more gratifying than the act of writing.