Chinghiz Aitmatov

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Country: Kyrgyzstan

About Chinghiz Aitmatov
Chyngyz Aitmatov (Kyrgyz: Чыңгыз Айтматов, IPA: ; Russian: Чингиз Торекулович Айтматов) (12 December 1928, Sheker, Kirghiz ASSR, USSR - 10 June 2008, Nuremberg, Germany) was a Soviet and Kyrgyz author who wrote in both Russian and Kyrgyz. He was the best known figure in Kyrgyzstan's literature.Aitmatov's parents were civil servants in Sheker. The name Chingiz is the same as the honorary title of Genghis Khan. In early childhood, Aitmatov wandered as a nomad with his family, as the Kyrgyz people did at the time. In 1937 his father was charged with "bourgeois nationalism" in Moscow, arrested and executed in 1938. 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. The future author studied at a Soviet school in Sheker. He also worked from an early age. At fourteen he was an assistant to the Secretary at the Village Soviet. He later held jobs as a tax collector, a loader, an engineer's assistant and continued with many other types of work. In 1946 he began studying at the Animal Husbandry Division of the Kirghiz Agricultural Institute in Frunze, but later switched to literary studies at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, where he lived from 1956 to 1958. For the next eight years he worked for Pravda. His first two publications appeared in 1952 in Russian: "The Newspaper Boy Dziuio" and "Ашым." His first work published in Kyrgyz was "Ак Жаан" (White rain, 1954), and his well-known work "Jamilya" (Jamila) appeared in 1958. 1980 saw his first novel The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years; his next significant novel, The Scaffold was published in 1988. The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years and other writings were translated into several languages. Aitmatov suffered kidney failure, and on 16 May 2008 was admitted to a hospital in Nuremberg, Germany, where he died of pneumonia on 10 June 2008 at the age of 79. After his death, Aitmatov was flown to Kyrgyzstan, where there were numerous ceremonies before he was buried in Ata Beyit cemetery, which he helped found and where his father most likely is buried, in Chong-Tash village, Alamüdün district, Chüy oblast, Kyrgyzstan. His 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 S. Gorbachev."

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Kyrgyzstan Writers & Authors Ranking

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Rank Name Total
1. Chinghiz Aitmatov 68

Writers & Authors Ranking

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Rank Name Total
285. Mahmud Shabistari 74
286. J. J. Rousseau 72
287. Eça de Queiroz 69
288. Ferreira Gullar 69
289. Chinghiz Aitmatov 68
290. Rıfat Ilgaz 67
291. Can Yücel 64
292. Aziz Nesin 64
293. Kaşgarlı Mahmud 63

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