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'Hard by a Great Forest' is a novel about returning home decades after fleeing war

Riverhead Books

The story of Saba, the protagonist of Leo Vardiashvili's novel Hard by a Great Forest, is much like the author's own. A young boy flees the Soviet Republic of Georgia with his father and brother as the country is ravaged by a war. Decades later, when his father goes back to their homeland and promptly disappears, Saba must face his family's past – and immense loss – in an effort to find him. In today's episode, Vardiashvili tells NPR's Scott Simon about being separated from his own family, and the feeling of time-travel he felt when he finally made his way back to Georgia.

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