Hamid Ismailov: Ялмоғиз Гея ё мўр-малаҳ маликаси (Gaia)

The latest addition to my website is Hamid Ismailov‘s Ялмоғиз Гея ё мўр-малаҳ маликаси (Gaia). This is another wonderful book from Hamid Iamailov, the Uzbek author resident in the UK. Gaia Mangitkhanovna is an Uzbek national, living in a high-rise in Eastbourne in the South of England. In the opening part of the book, she has sex with her carer, a man substantially younger than her, mocks her neighbours and the town of Eastbourne and tells us that she is dying. We follow her life and back-story, as well as the life and back-story of her carer, Domrul, a Meskhetian Turk, his girlfriend, Emer, an Irish evangelical living in Paris and Kuyuk-baxshi. (Baxshi is a traditional musician from Central Asia), whom Emer very much admires. The complicated relationships, exacerbated by their different nationalities, different religions and their often traumatic pasts, the issue of exile, and Uzbekistan, good (the people and their culture) and bad (officialdom – Soviet,and post-Soviet) all create a complex but fascinating tale.

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