1st edition in English. Originally published in Russian 1966. Very clean copy. Includes dust cover in good condition. Chingiz Aitmatov (1928 – 2008) was a Soviet and Kyrgyz journalist and author who wrote in both Russian and Kyrgyz. He is the best known figure in Kyrgyzstan's literature. Aitmatov lived at a time when Kyrgyzstan was being transformed from one of the most remote lands of the Russian Empire to a republic of the USSR. His work drew on folklore, not in the ancient sense of it; rather, he tried to recreate and synthesize oral tales in the context of contemporary life. This is prevalent in his work since in nearly every story he refers to a myth, a legend, or a folktale. In 1963 Aimatov was awarded the prestigious Lenin Prize for 'Tales of the Mountains and Steppes' (a compilation including 'Jamila', 'First Teacher' and this title 'Farewell Gulsary') and was later awarded a State prize for 'Farewell, Gulsary'. One key aspect of his writing is his ultimate closeness to our 'little brothers' the animals, whose lives he sees as intimately and inseparably connected with humankind. Hence the two central characters of 'Farewell, Gulsary'. are a man and his stallion.
In addition to his literary work, Chinghiz Aitmatov was first the ambassador for the Soviet Union and later for Kyrgyzstan, to the European Union, NATO, UNESCO and the Benelux countries. He also sat on the juries of a number of international film festivals including those in Moscow and Berlin.
Aitmatov's obituary in The New York Times characterized him as 'a Communist writer whose novels and plays before the collapse of the Soviet Union gave a voice to the people of the remote Soviet republic of Kyrgyz' and adds that he 'later became a diplomat and a friend and adviser to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev'.