Berdi Kerbabaev: Aĭgytly ădim (Der entscheidende Schritt) [The Decisive Step]


The latest addition to my website is Berdi Kerbabaev‘s Aĭgytly ădim (Der entscheidende Schritt) [The Decisive Step], the first novel from Turkmenistan on my site and a book written in Turkmen, translated into Russian and thence into German. It is a fairly conventional Soviet novel, with our hero, Ardyk, a somewhat downtrodden peasant. His father has died, he has to look after his mother and younger sister, he is not getting his share of the water and the parents of the woman he loves do not consider him a suitable match for their daughter. The novel starts in 1915, when Russia is involved in World War I and this affects Turkmenistan to some degree, as they have to supply money, horses and woollen caps to the Russians though problems occur when they have to supply men for labouring to replace the Russian soldiers. Ardyk stands up to the bey (head man) of the region and is involved in an uprising in 1916, before coming more into his own during and after the Revolution when the civil war reaches Turkmenistan (with the aid, of course, of determined Russian friends). An enjoyable novel but it is not great literature.

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