“The most beautiful love story in the world.”—Louis Aragon
The Second World War is raging, and Jamilia’s husband is off fighting at the front. Accompanied by Daniyar, a sullen newcomer who was wounded on the battlefield, Jamilia spends her days hauling sacks of grain from the threshing floor to the train station in their village in the Caucasus.
Spurning men’s advances and wincing at the dispassionate letters she receives from her husband, Jamilia falls helplessly in love with the mysterious Daniyar in this heartbreakingly beautiful tale.
A classic from the award-winning Kyrgyz novelist Chingiz Aitmatov.
'The most beautiful love story in the world' Louis Aragon 'An extremely brave, tremblingly vivid and skilful writer - a song that flew against the ideology of the time, showing that life is always bigger and more complicated than any superimposed schemes.' Hamid Ismailov, author of The Railway 'The novella most vibrantly comes to life is in its evocation of the local landscapes and folk traditions... James Riordan has rendered Aitmatov's prose into simple yet lyrical English' Telegraph 'Deftly renders village life in vivid colour' The Times 'Aitmatov showed the world as he saw it: full of bigotry, prejudice, cruelty, sexism, patriarchal brutality, and general lack of harmony in the way people treat each other. All this is punctuated by beautiful scenes of human kindness, wisdom, love and devotion, set against the background of the stunning central Asian landscape which he poetically evoked.' Guardian 'A simple and beautiful evocation of time, place and the power of love ... deserves to be known as one of the world's great and timeless love stories.' Booktrust 'A beautiful love story ... the relationship that grows between Jamilia and co-worker Daniyar, a sullen soldier new to the village who has arrived wounded from the war, is subtle and beautifully developed.' Bookseller.
About the Author
Chingiz Aïtmatov was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1928. His work has appeared in over one hundred languages, and has received numerous awards, including the Lenin Prize. He was an adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union's twilight years and is the Kyrgyz ambassador to the European Union, NATO, UNESCO and the Benelux countries.