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Green DesertEdited by Rafis Abazov
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Green Desert

The Life and Poetry of Olzhas Suleimenov
Edited by Rafis Abazov

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-757-4, 236 pages


Green Desert: The Life and Poetry of Olzhas Suleimenov is the first comprehensive translation of Olzhas Suleimenov's poetry in English. The book provides a concise overview of the poet's rich literary heritage and serves as an introduction to the contemporary literature of Kazakhstan and Eurasia. Suleimenov, whom Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky once aptly called "Asia at the Steering Wheel", has emerged as one of Kazakhstan's and Central Asia's most influential intellectuals, authors, and poets of the last half century. Since 1991, Suleimenov has encouraged Kazakhstanis to embrace globalization, liberal democratic values, a moderate, all-inclusive "civil nationalism," and a balanced approach to building positive relations with both West and East alike.

For Western readers, Green Desert serves as an introduction to an unfamiliar universe and to the vibrant mystic poetry of the Kazakh steppe. It is designed as a supplementary text for students of twentieth-century Russian and Central Asian literature, culture, and intellectual history. This work is also useful for general audiences who wish to learn about modern literary trends in Kazakhstan, a nation where Western and Eastern traditions come together in a strikingly unique way.

Rafis Abazov is an adjunct professor at Columbia University in New York and a visiting professor at Al Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He has numerous publications including Green Desert: The Life and Poetry of Olzhas Suleimenov (2011) and The Stories Great Steppe (2013). His research interests and publications focus on cultural globalization and the intellectual history of Central Eurasia and Russia, as well as public policy, governance, contemporary cultural, and intellectual and political trends in the region.

Other Cognella titles by Rafis Abazov: