Kyrgyz gifted storyteller
Akmatov, whose writing is imbued with a passion for his homeland, Kyrgyzstan and concern over the oppression of his people.
The story involves the harrowing experiences of a young and very naïve Norwegian woman who has come to Kyrgyzstan to teach English to schoolchildren in a remote mountain outpost. Governed by the megalomaniac Colonel Bronza, the community barely survives under a cruel and unjust neo-fascist regime. Immersed in the local culture, Erika is initially both enchanted and apprehensive but soon becomes disillusioned as day after day, she is forbidden to teach.
Each tries in vain, to challenge and change the corrupt political situation in which they are forced to live.
Alongside Erika’s story, are the personal tragedies experienced by former soldier Sovietbek , Stalbek, the local policeman, the Principal of the school and a young man who has married a Kyrgyz refugee from Afghanistan .
Thirteen Steps is strongly flavoured with sensitive and often poetic descriptions of:
#magnificentlandscape, #wildlife and traditional customs, such as #EagleHunting, natural medicines, weddings, herding and #HorsePolo, as well as more brutal references to the trafficking of young women, the exiled existence of Kyrgyz expelled from their country under Soviet rule.
Publisher: Silk Road Media