Recently translated into English Akmatov’s two love stories are set in rural Kyrgyzstan, where the natural environment, local culture, traditions and political climate all play an integral part in the dramas which unfold.
Munabiya is a tale of a family’s frustration, fury, sadness and eventual acceptance of a long term love affair between the widowed father and his mistress.
In contrast, Shahidka is a multi-stranded story which focuses on the ties which bind a series of individuals to the tragic and ill-fated union between a local Russian girl and her Chechen lover, within a multi-cultural community where violence, corruption and propaganda are part of everyday life.
“It takes more than one reading to fully enter
this world. It’s up to the reader to read and
reread and discover the rest of the carefully
woven threads of this family tragedy where not
everything is said out loud. This is a beautiful
story which moved me profoundly. If you
want to get to the heart of the Kyrgyz people,
I recommend that you look to the novels of
Kazat Akmatov. You will be well rewarded!”
— Peter Wullen, Literature Critic