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Aleksandre Qazbegi is one of Georgia’s most beloved and revered writers. He came of age in Khevi, a mountainous region of northern Georgia, near the border with what is now Russia’s North Caucasus. He was briefly educated in St. Petersburg, but failed to complete his university studies, due to his father’s sudden illness and family debts. When Qazbegi returned to Georgia after his studies in Russia, he began living the life of a shepherd (as narrated in “Notes of a Shepherd”) before he settled in Tbilisi, where he became Georgia’s first professional writer and the author of daring short stories and novellas that challenged conventional morality and criticized Georgian society.