We, the Kazakhs…
So little is known about this people and their vast country, the world’s ninth largest, though the Kazakhs have seen much of man’s vast history. From their roots as traders and herdsmen during the Silk Route period to their modern experience with atomic bomb testing and space age triumph, the history of Kazakh culture remains relatively unexplored in the Western world.
Even less known is author Abdi-Jamil Nurpeisov, venerated sage of Kazakh and Russian literature, though his books have been published in translation worldwide. Nurpeisov exposes Kazakh life to Western readers as Tolstoy did with Russians, and Marquez – Colombians. Nurpeisov’s eye-opening novel unveils the largely unknown history, life and customs of the Kazakhs.
«Blood and Sweat” is a sweeping tale about the vanishing way of life of Kazakhs in a small rural village. It has been compared to Sholokhov’s epic «And Quiet Flows the Don.” Through a kaleidoscopic panorama of events, an ethnographic tapestry, and the sophisticated fabric of Kazakhs’ past, Nurpeisov’s novels come to life in an enjoyable and educational reading. The drama of Blood & Sweat takes the reader through the national turmoil of 1900-1922 at which Kazakh state was born and via the personal dramatic development of three people. The human fight against the cruel elements of nature are balanced with the struggle between good and evil of its main protagonists. A murder and its consequence parallels the issues raised by Dostoyevsky.
Originally published as three separate novels, the first book, Twilight, appeared in 1961; the second book, Ordeal, in 1964; and the third book, Fall, in 1970. Their social relevance, subtle psychological insights, and the vivid originality of the characterizations have made the trilogy notable not only in Kazakh literature but in all Soviet literature.
Blood and Sweat is the only novel that truly describes in soul of the Kazakh people, and the birth of a nation with defined boundaries. This is the first time Nurpeisov’s trilogy has been translated and publishing into the English language, based on the authorized 2010 translation by the renowned Russian writer and translator Yury Kazakov.
Nurpiesov has won numerous awards, including three orders, Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR, and in 1985 he was given the honorary title «People’s Writer of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.” Nurpeisov is the founding president of PEN International in Kazakhstan.