Reading: Chingiz Aitmatov – The Day Lasts More Than A Hundred Years

I’m not sure when I first heard of Chingiz Aitmatov, but coming from Kyrgyzstan and writing science-fiction, how could I not be seduced? It may be that his death in 2008, which was written about on several blogs I read, was the moment I first heard his name. Nonetheless, this has been on my list for some time, and I was happily surprised to find it on the shelves today – marked ‘rare’ – while aimlessly foraging.


chingiz aitmatov

I only recently discovered him, and was looking forward to reading The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, when yesterday read at that Kyrgyzstan writer Chingiz Aitmatov has died.

Famous Kyrgyz Writer Died

Chingiz Aitmatov died today in a clinic in German city Nuremberg today. He was 79. German news agency DPA wrote that the cause of the dead became pneumonia. Aitmatov was delivered to the clinic “Clinicum Nuremberg Zud” on 19 may with the diagnosis “renal failure”.

German doctors said that pneumonia was the source of the renal and pulmonary failure.

Chingiz Aitmatov was born in 1928 in Kyrgyzstan. He graduated agricultural institute in Frunze (now Bishkek) and Supreme literary courses in Moscow. First he published his prose on Kyrgyz, than began to write on Russian language.

“Jamila” story (1958) brought all-union fame and popularity to him. Than was stories “First Teacher” and “My small poplar in a red scarf” (1961).

Aitmatov published his most famous books in 70-s. “White steamer”, “Piebald dog running on the sea edge”, “Day last longer century”. The novel “Plaha” in 1980-s became one of the most important book in the reconstruction period. In 90 he published the novel “Cassandra’s Brand”. His last big book “When mountains are falling down” was published in 2006.

Aitmatov was the laureate of Lenin and three State prizes of USSR. After reconstruction Chingiz Aitmatov was appointed the ambassador of USSR in Luxemburg. After break-up of USSR he became the diplomatic representative of Kirgizia in Benelux countries and the permanent representative of the republic in NATO and UNESCO.

2008 year was announced as a year of Chingiz Aitmatov in Kyrgyzstan.