Amanat: Women's Writing from Kazakhstan


Product Details

$22.00  $20.46
Gaudy Boy, LLC
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.67 inches | 0.83 pounds

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About the Author

Zaure Batayeva (1969) is the driving force behind this anthology, the one who first dreamed of bringing a collection of Kazakh women's writing into English. Besides being the author and translator of two pieces included here, and a noted cultural commentator and critic, she is a prolific translator into Kazakh, recently of Sarah Cameron's groundbreaking historical work, The Hungry Steppe.

Shelley Fairweather-Vega is a translator who works from Russian and Uzbek into English. She has translated for attorneys, academics, authors, and activists around the world. Her translated works have been published in the US and UK, and in the Critical Flame, Translation Review, Words Without Borders, the Brooklyn Rail, and more. Shelley is a past president of the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society and a cofounder of the Northwest Literary Translators. She lives in Seattle, where she also plays the French horn and is helping raise two kids and a cat. Learn more at


"Turkic languages, including Kazakh, do not have a gender. The nomadic past treated everyone on horseback equally, and therefore the role of women in the history of these peoples was no less than the role of men. This book is proof of that. Marzia in Zhumagul Solty's 'Romeo and Juliet, ' Azhe from Zira Naurzbayeva's 'My Eleusinian mysteries, ' women-authors of these, and other stories and essays-all these tender voices come to us from their cities and steppes like thunder booming, like birds crying, like hearts breaking. These rare gems, lifted from their native soil and skillfully replanted by Zaure Batayeva and Shelley Fairweather-Vega into English, represent the first anthology of its kind."

-Hamid Ismailov, award-winning author

"Amanat offers a rare insight into Central Asia's century of geopolitical catastrophes. Though steeped in sadness and suffering, these vivid and remarkable stories often simmer with the humour of everyday life."

-Anne Charnock, award-winning author, Dream Before the Start of Time

"Each story in this collection is a gem. Together, they showcase not only lives previously overlooked by the English-language readers but also a set of narrative techniques that allow massive historical traumas to be comprehended, and deeply meaningful, on the human scale. These stories captivate and surprise the reader at every turn, and delight: with their sly humor, wisdom, and defiant resilience."

-Olga Zilberbourg, author, Like Water and Other Stories

"This brilliant collection of women's writing from Kazakhstan offers a wealth of new insights on the nature of modern Kazakhstani identity and the country's tangled relationship with its Soviet past. By spotlighting women's voices and featuring translations from both the Russian and Kazakh languages, Amanat represents an original and important contribution. The stories are engrossing, and the anthology as a whole greatly enriches our understanding of Kazakhstani society."

-Sarah Cameron, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park