The Eighth Life

The Eighth Life : (for Brilka) The International Bestseller

4.54 (1,936 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Translated by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


Six romances, one revolution, the story of the century.

'That night Stasia took an oath, swearing to learn the recipe by heart and destroy the paper. And when she was lying in her bed again, recalling the taste with all her senses, she was sure that this secret recipe could heal wounds, avert catastrophes, and bring people happiness. But she was wrong.'

At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian Empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste ...

Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the centre of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia's is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century.

Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections. Great characters and greater relationships come and go and come again; the world shakes, and shakes some more, and the reader rejoices to have found at last one of those glorious old books in which you can live and learn, be lost and found, and make indelible new friends.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 944 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 59mm | 1,048g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 191161746X
  • 9781911617464
  • 14,455

Review quote

'For those who enjoy a big story, that has great characters that will keep you engaged to the very end.' FOUR STARS * Manly Daily * 'This is one for long-haul flights or the Christmas lock-in.' -- Bridget Hourican * Cara * 'If you only read one book this year make sure it is The Eighth Life ... Intricately crafted and addictive, The Eighth Life is an extraordinary, dramatic and compelling read ... The ambitious, vivid and unflinching translation from the original German by Ruth Martin and Charlotte Collins is in itself a work of art, and deserves to win every translation prize going.' * BookBlast * 'Not only in its length does this novel resemble the work of Boris Pasternak. You will not want to put it down. The red century devours a family, and history comes with a pinch of chocolate - Like Water for Chocolate, even.' * Brigitte * 'Nino Haratischvili has written an epic: a novel which ranges over all of a century and half of the globe; a book within which - as in the infant's experience - everything is only love and dread. It is a coup, a gift for us from the contradictions and grandeur of the East!' * Suddeutsche Zeitung * 'Everybody requires a new, vigorous narrative of European ideals, of the European past ... Nino Haratischvili has created this narrative in her new novel. The German novel of the year. Phenomenal.' -- Volker Weidemann * Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung * 'Nino Haratischvili is one of the most important voices in contemporary German literature.' * Die Zeit * 'The novel of the year.' * Der Spiegel * 'The Eighth Life is the saga of a Georgian family - its intricate, interconnected lives, its losses, triumphs, sadnesses, and great loves, set against the sweep of Russian history across the twentieth century ... an unforgettable, rich and textured piece of literature.' -- Georgia Brough * Readings * 'An epic read that will leave you 100% satisfied.' * Stylist * 'It is an ambitious undertaking, but the author retains a firm grasp on her material and knows exactly how she wishes to present the human cost and consequences to a family facing war and colliding ideologies ... I finished by applauding the vision, boldness and passionate commitment.' -- Elizabeth Buchan * Daily Mail * 'The Eighth Life is the sort of book that sweeps you along, sustaining a tremendous feeling of urgency, as if the narrator ... is desperate to get it all out, get it all on paper, before the family curse catches up with her.' -- Andrew Fuhrmann * The Saturday Paper * 'It is a great read. If you love historical sagas and romances, this is the book for you.' * ABC Radio National The Bookshelf *
show more

About Nino Haratischvili

Nino Haratischvili was born in Georgia in 1983, and is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and theatre director. At home in two different worlds, each with their own language, she has been writing in both German and Georgian since the age of twelve. In 2010, her debut novel Juja was nominated for the German Book Prize, as was her most recent Die Katze und der General in 2018. In its German edition, The Eighth Life was a bestseller, and won the Anna Seghers Prize, the Lessing Prize Stipend, and the Bertolt Brecht Prize 2018. It is being translated into many languages, and has already been a major bestseller on publication in Holland, Poland, and Georgia.

Charlotte Collins studied English Literature at Cambridge University, and worked as an actor and radio journalist in Germany and the UK before becoming a literary translator. She received the Goethe-Institut's Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize in 2017 for Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. Her other translations include Seethaler's The Tobacconist and The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells. Ruth Martin has a PhD in German literature and philosophy from the University of London. Her recent translations include Volker Weidermann's Dreamers, Michael Koehlmeier's novels Two Gentlemen on the Beach and Yiza, short fiction by Joseph Roth, and essays by Hannah Arendt. She has taught translation to undergraduates at Birkbeck and the University of Kent, and is currently co-chair of the Society of Authors Translators Association.
show more

Rating details

1,936 ratings
4.54 out of 5 stars
5 64% (1,245)
4 27% (528)
3 7% (132)
2 1% (26)
1 0% (5)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X