Stories I Stole from Georgia

Front Cover
Grove Press, 2002 - Travel - 277 pages
6 Reviews
After working for Time magazine in London, Wendell Steavenson spent two years in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Stories I Stole captures the exuberance of a fledgling nation of local despots, mountain tribes, blood feuds, and an unlimited flow of red wine. From President Shevardnadze's rigged elections to horse races high in the mountains; from the eerie roadside artifacts of the Soviet era to the farcical power outages in the dead of winter, here is Georgia: weird, invigorating, and still coming to grips with the legacy of its most famous son, Joseph Stalin.

Far more than a travel book, this is a scintillating menagerie of true stories peopled by vivid -- and sometimes insane -- characters. In the beach resort of Sukhumi, once the destination of every fashionable Russian but now wrecked by civil war, Wendell plays hangman with a secret policeman. In the capital, Tbilisi -- ensconced in Levan's Magic Room or lounging in the steam baths -- she hears about the latest duel or kidnapping. In Khevsureti, the meadows are dotted with blue-painted beehives and yellow flowers, while just over the border there is war in Chechnya. Stories I Stole is a candid, engaging, and quietly lyrical book about a land and its people.

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Review: Stories I Stole

User Review  - Maria Gambale - Goodreads

Messy, with a few excellent stories. Inexplicably self-involved. I'd be curious if any other readers were interested in her love life interludes. The ending was nothing short of an ego splurge. Read full review

Review: Stories I Stole

User Review  - Michael Malone - Goodreads

Very intriguing look at the republic of Georgia finding its way, or, more often, not, after the breakup of the Soviet Union. No heat, no electricity, just lots of vodka...Steavenson is fearless and ... Read full review

References to this book

About the author (2002)

Wendell Steavenson, author of the acclaimed memoir Stories I Stole, has lived in and reported from post-Soviet Georgia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. Her work has appeared in the London Observer, The New Yorker, Time, and other publications. She lives in Paris.

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