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THE TRAGEDY OF A BASTARD Paperback – 12 Oct 2018
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Our dear ancestors said honour is more valuable than life.’
Forty-year-old teacher Marziya becomes pregnant because of her first love affair. The child’s father disappears. What should she do? She gives birth to a child, a boy and brings him up alone. The boy, Nurzhan, grows up and falls in love... But traditional Kazakh society demands that boys know their ‘seven grandfathers,’ that is, their patrilineal forebears going back seven generations. Nurzhan cannot satisfy his beloved’s father in this respect. He doesn’t know his own father’s name, let alone those of his ancestors. The stern elder forbids the marriage. This novel provides a fascinating and compassionate insight into conflicts within contemporary Kazakh society, so the author characterizes the Kazakh people, unlike other nationalities, that they pay great attention to their genealogy, as the fathers forced their children to teach their genealogical genealogy, in order to save themselves from incest, so that the future generation would be healthy.
— Caroline Walton,
Editor and translator
Acclaimed Kazakh author Saule Doszhan’s The Tragedy of a Bastard is a little gem of a book. Poignant and poetic, it tells the story of Nurzhan, the clever young medic son of a single mother, banned from marrying Moldir the love of his life, because of his lack of paternal ancestry. It is a tale simply told with the power of a parable as it explores the stifling trap of Kazakh tradition, especially for women, and the universal need for love. It is a tragedy, yes, but a tragedy laced through with hope.”
— John Farndon
Royal Literary Fellow at City & Guilds
About the Author
about author Saule Doszhan, a talented poet, and a popular writer was born on September 2, 1959 in Almaty Region. Her poems and articles started publishing in the regional newspaper in 1974. Her University background - the Kazakh State University "Journalism" (1987) and "Law" the Central Asian University (2006). Being a student, she entered the collection of young poets "Audience", "Nine Keys", "Karlygash". She gained a big experience as a reporter-journalist, editor, senior officer in the following fields: "Socialist Kazakhstan (Egemen Kazakhstan)" newspaper; the Kazakh radio;"Kazakh language and literature" newspaper; the "Ulagat" magazine; Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. A member of the Writers' Union of Kazakhstan and the Union of Journalists. A member of Eurasian Creative Guild (UK). A member of IWWG (USA) AWARDS: 2001 - Winner of "Anuar Baizhanbayev Prize of the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan" for the 10th anniversary of Independence. 2002 - The Grand Prix winner of the "National defender" competition, which was co-organized by the Parliament and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 2006 - The jubilee medal owner "10 years of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan." 2009 - The "Cultural luminary" medal owner by the Ministry of Culture. 2010 - Winner of the national contest in the genre of in the national "My country, my heart" poetry contest organized by the Nur Otan National Democratic Party. 2011 - Third place winner in the "Call for Independence" National Poetry Contest. 2011 - "Honorary Citizen of Uigur district of Almaty region." 2013 - The second prize owner, the jubilee song contest "Shine, New Astana" dedicated to the 15th anniversary of Astana. 2014 - Winner, the "Military songs" competition at the radio festival with her song "March of the soldiers." 2015 - Owner of the "20 years of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan" medal. 2015 - Owner of the title "Honored Worker of Kazakhstan" by the Decree of the President. 2016 - Owner of the "25 years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan" medal. 2016 - Winner, the "The Best Poet" nomination in the "Independence.Literature.Writer" Forum dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence. 2017 - Third place winner in the prose category at Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum-2017 (UK) for her nouvelle "My own strange heart." 2018 - First Prize owner in the National "The capital - bulwark of the nation" Poetry Contest dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Astana. WORKS: 2000 -"Jyr Crown" (poetry) / "Atamura" publishing house; 2006 -"The secret of the third door" (prose) / Kazinform publishing house; 2008 -"Baby born to the womb" (prose) / "Foliant" publishing house; 2011-"Arman kala" / (poetry) Kazygurt publishing house; 2013 -"Fear in the Great House" (prose) / "Zhazushy" publishing house; 2014 -"Master Almighty Pen" (prose) / "Foliant" publishing house; 2015 -"My only partner" (poetry) / "Dastur" publishing house; 2015 -"My own strange heart" (prose) / "Foliant" publishing house; 2016 -"My own strange heart" (prose) in Russian / "Foliant" publishing house; 2017-"Sagynysh" (Prose)/ "Hertfordshire Press", London 2018 -"The tragedy of a bustard" (Prose) "Hertfordshire Press", London Author of "Maimak kaz" cartoon and about 20 songs.
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The story describes the usual modern Kazakh family, which honors its roots and religion.
And these roots set fairly tough rules of relationships between lovers: no incest for seven generations. The main postulate concerns the need to know the place of its origin and its relatives.
And in this story, the author says that one non-standard fact for the rules of the ancestors, or the laws of the Steppe - the son of a single mother is enough, to bring unrest into the relations of two families.
We all know that there are no ideal rules, ideal laws, because life is constantly changing, and with it, people and their history.
Indeed, there are still people who are too jealous of the laws of their ancestors, and this is not only Kazakhstan, but also Tatarstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bashkortostan, and others, as well as almost the entire North Caucasus.
All use modern smartphones, use electronic services, ride electric cars, and even install bionic prostheses.
But when it comes to family, to marriage, the laws of the ancestors immediately appear: no relationship before the wedding, a wedding only by agreement, the wife should only listen to her husband and stay at home.
In this story, Nurzhan was isolated from everyone. Trying to receive the blessing of the family of Zhetken Baquly, he does not pity himself and waits several years to be able to turn again to the father of Moldir.
But daughter, who had run away from home to meet her love, moves to another city.
And it seems that this is a happy ending, but the head of health department is again met with similar questions from Zhetken Baquly - who are you, where are you from, and what kind of relationship do you have.