“It’s a Hong Kong story,” he says. “But without a happy end.”


That’s Georgia. For Aka Morchiladze, this sentence carries the truth and the tragedy of his country. For the majority of people outside Georgia, the name won’t mean much at first. In his home country, Morchiladze is a celebrity author, TV presenter, soap writer, sports columnist and so famous that he coined himself a pseudonym. His real name is Gio Akhvlediani. Outside the Caucasus he is a person with an unpronounceable name whose works are written in a language that looks like the secret code of a children’s book. He has written 25 books. They’ve sold in huge numbers for Georgia. Not one of them has been translated. Until now. Now Munich’s Pendo Verlag has published his book “Santa Esperanza”, and it is, put nicely, the zaniest and most swashbuckling work of the season.

“Santa Esperanza” is not a book, but a collection of small rainbow-coloured booklets in a caramel coloured felt slipcase. “These endless covers, this binding, I wanted something different!” says Mordchiladze. He says it’s not necessary to read the glorious saga of “The Isle of Hope” from start to finish or even right through. He nearly made the end of “Santa Esperanza” into a crossword puzzle. In this light, the little booklets seem almost conservative.

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