Thursday, 12 November 2015

Recommendation: Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov

This novella is not erotica, but it is intensely romantic and a truly wonderful read. Fresh, vivid and enchanting, it offers a fascinating and beautifully evocative glimpse into a very particular time and place, and way of life. An artist recalls, through his childhood eyes, an illicit romance which blossomed in his village in north-western Kyrgyzstan during the second world war. It is a striking portrait of a deeply felt love affair unfolding before the young narrator's eyes as he tries to fathom what is taking root and then putting forth shoots just beyond the fringes of his youthful ken. And too, this is the story of the blossoming of a young man's self-awareness as an artist. Highly accomplished, intensely poetic and acutely life-affirming.

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