Nodar Dumbadze

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Nodar Dumbadze
Born July 14, 1928
Died September 4, 1984
Resting place Mtatsminda Pantheon
Occupation Novelist, journalist
Language Georgian
Nationality Georgian
Alma mater Tbilisi State University
Genre Comic novel, Humour, Novel
Subject Antimilitarism, Humanism
Notable works Me, Grandma, Iliko and Ilarioni (1960)
Years active 1960-1984

Nodar Dumbadze (Georgian: ნოდარ დუმბაძე) (July 14, 1928 – September 4, 1984) was a Georgian writer and one of the most popular authors in the late 20th-century Georgia.


Born in Tbilisi, he graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Tbilisi State University in 1950. The same year, his first poems and humorous stories appeared in the Georgian press. He edited the satirical magazine Niangi from 1967 until 1972 when he became a secretary of the Union of Georgian Writers and a member of the presidium of the Union of Soviet Writers in 1972. Most of his fame came through his novels Me, Grandma, Iliko and Ilarioni (მე, ბებია, ილიკო და ილარიონი; 1960), I Can See the Sun (მე ვხედავ მზეს; 1962), The Sunny Night (მზიანი ღამე; 1967), Don’t Be Afraid, Mother! (ნუ გეშინია, დედა!; 1971), The White Banners (თეთრი ბაირაღები; 1973), and The Law of Eternity (მარადისობის კანონი; 1978). His works are remarkable for simplicity and lyricism of the prose, humor, and melancholy coupled with optimism. He was awarded the Shota Rustaveli State Prize in 1975 and the Lenin Prize in 1980. Most of his major works have been dramatized and/or filmed. He died in Tbilisi and was buried there, at the Children’s Town "Mziuri" founded by him. In September 2009, he was reburied to the Mtatsminda Pantheon.


Nodar Dumbadze's first works published in 1956-1957 - three books of humorous stories. After this in 1957 he gave up his lab work to immerse himself fully in a literary career. He worked in the editorial departments of various journals and in the screenwriting division of Kartuli Pilmi.

He continued to publish humorous stories and published the collection "Village Boy" in 1959. He scored a major success with the largely semi-autobiographical novel Me, Grandma, Iliko and Ilarioni (1960). The novel is set in a Georgian village during the years of the Great Patriotic War. All able-bodied men are off at the war front, leaving only women and elderly men behind. At the center of the novel, is a young orphan Zurikela, his grandmother, and two sharp-tongued but wise and generous elderly neighbors who help watch over the boy.

Dumbadze's next novel, is also autobiographical - I See the Sun (1962). IT is also set in the war years and it describes the difficult situation in the villages and the fear people felt for their loved ones who were fighting at the front. Sosoia is teenager who loves blind Khatia, which will be cured in the finale of the novel.

In The Sunny Night (1967), the hero struggles to find a way to restablish a connection with his mother, who has just returned from twelve years of exile. In a further complication, the hero must decide whether or not to save the life of the villain who caused his family's ruin.

Don't Be Afraid, Mama! (1971) depicts the life of Soviet border guards. Masculine friendships, the tragedy of losing a comrade, and the pain of unrequited love are all addressed in a lyric manner typical of Dumbadze. When preparing this novel, Dumbadze received special permission to serve in a border-patrol unit.

The White Flags (1973) follows the fate of a someone unjustly convicted of a murder he did not commit. Many of the characters are criminals, whom Dumbadze portrays as struggling with their relationship to society but also with their understanding of themselves.

Dumbadze's final novel was Law of Eternity (1978). In this work, a gravely ill hospital patient faces the concept of the struggle between good and evil. He will realizes the law of eternity, after curing in hospital.

The short story "Hellados" tells of a Greek boy who is departing for his historic homeland. But at the last moment, he lacks the strength to part with everything he has known all his life €”the town of Sukhumi and his friends. To return, he jumps off the departing steamship, but he dies in the sea.

In "Kukaracha", one of Dumbadze's last short novels, a policeman takes pity on a criminal, and in the end winds up being killed by a bullet from this same criminal's gun.

The story "Blood Knot" tells the story of a boy, who likes the author, which was born in 1928 and who (again like the author) lost his parents in the Great Terror year of 1937 and is sent to live with relatives in the village.


Short Novels

Short Stories

  • What the falcon is doing in a city?!
  • Sematary
  • Chinkas
  • Romani
  • Khazarula
  • Sun
  • Diderot
  • Dog
  • Ungrateful
  • Bullfighting
  • Do not wake up
  • Longing
  • Mother
  • Bird
  • Blood
  • Kantsi (horn)
  • Timur
  • Astvats! Inchu, Hamar!
  • Taliko


Dumbadze joined the Communist Party in 1964. He won numerous awards during his career, including the Shota Rustaveli Prize (highest arts award in Georgia, 1975), the Lenin Komsomol Prize (1966) and the Lenin Prize (1980). He was a deputy to the Georgian Supreme Soviet (1971-1978) and to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1979-1984). In 1974 he was named a secretary of the Georgian Writers Union, and from 1981 until his death he served as Chairman of the Union.