Discipline: Literature

Paul Chavchavadze

Discipline: Literature
Region: Wellfleet, MA
MacDowell fellowships: 1957

Paul Chavchavadze (1899-1971) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and was a descendant of Georgian princes and the son of Alexander Chavchavadze, who was shot by the Bolsheviks in the early 1930s. Chavchavadze left Russia in 1918, going first to Romania and then to England, where he married Princess Nina of Russia in 1922. He came to the United States in 1927 and worked for 12 years with the Cunard Line, then became a citizen and served as a field director with the Red Cross in World War II.

Chavchavadze is well known for translating Only One Year by Joseph Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, about the adventure that brought her to America. This collaboration came about in 1968 when he translated a letter she had written to a Russian emigre newspaper in Paris after her decision never to return to her homeland.

Chavchavadze also authored novels of his own, including: The Judas Child, Family Album (1949), a volume of reminiscences, The Mountains of Allah (1952), a historical novel about the Crimean War, Father Vikenty (1955) a novel about a Russian Orthodox priest and his New York City Parish, and Because the Night Was Dark.



Paul Chavchavadze worked in the Barnard studio.

Originally built near Union Street, the Barnard Studio — which was funded by Barnard College music students — was re-located to its current site in 1910. When the small structure was moved to its current location, its size was doubled with the addition of a second room. This remodeling, financed by Mrs. Thomas E. Emery…

Learn more