HOME, AND HOME AGAIN by George & Helen Papashvily


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If you're old enough you may remember a book which the Papashvilys wrote almost thirty years ago, Anything Can Happen, that delightful account of an immigrant's hard and hilarious first years in America. Now, after all this time, the Papashvilys made the long journey in reverse -- back to Kobianktari, the tiny village in the Caucasus which George left two world wars and one revolution ago. Home, and Home Again, let's say it straight off, is a hosanna of joy, the unabashed joy of a man who will once again ""eat the bread and drink the wine of home"" -- to say nothing of the turkey with nut sauce, the wild persimmons, the watercress, the roast pork and the spiced pears. . . all prepared by a gaggle of cousins, half-sisters, aunts and nieces George had never met till the plane landed in Georgia and an enormous congregation of relations swooped down on the returnee. A brood that could make a misanthrope long for the gregarious bonhomie of a large and loving extended family. And the Papashvilys, who have lost none of their ebullient spirits and good humor, obviously made the best of guests. Smiling through the compulsory sightseeing as the family shows off Soviet style ""improvements""; patiently answering the volley of questions "". . . the size of a station wagon. . . are there still Indians. . . do I ever meet Mr. Duke Ellington?"" that could tire a saint. But it's the old Kobianktari that the authors came to see again -- the Cornelian cherry trees, Bootla the boyhood friend of George's days as apprentice sword-maker, the woods where Cruel Neston the landlord's estate manager once chased him with a horse whip. He found everything changed in Georgia but the people and for the better, the much, much better. Nothing here but a family reunion -- sentimental, ingenuous, nostalgic and enormously likable.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1973
Publisher: Harper & Row