Chyngyz Aitmatov (Kyrgyzstan)
Chingiz Aitmatov (Russia)
Chyngyz Aitmatov was a bilingual writer (Kyrgyz & Russian) from Kyrgyzstan. He was an intellectual as well as an advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev. After the collapse of the Soviet Union he helped to stengthen the newly independent Kyrgyzstan in his role as Kyrgyz Ambassador to Brussels.
Aitmatov was born on December 12th, 1928 in Talas, Kyrgyzstan. He lost his father at the age of 10, a victim of Stalin's purges. His father was executed as an "enemy of the people" in 1938. As the eldest son of the family, Aitmatov took over the responsibility of helping his mother to bring up his younger brother and two sisters. During World War II, Aitmatov was a hard-working teenager helping his family to get by in the small village of Sheker.
He graduated as a veterinary surgeon, studying first in Dshambul and later at the Agricultural High School in Frunze (now Bishkek – the capital of Kyrgyzstan). Aitmatov published his first short story in 1952.
He had been working for four years as a vet when he decided to become a writer. He applied for special training and from 1956-58 he studied at the High School for Literature in Moscow. He published his first story "Face to face" in the Kyrgyz language in 1957. His second story "Jamilia" was translated into French by Louis Aragon in the same year and brought him worldwide fame. He went on to become a celebrated author, thanks to his hard work and great talent.
His works have been translated into more than 150 languages worldwide!
1928 - born in Talas, Kyrgyzstan
1938 - lost his father
1942 - began to work for the Sheker Village Council
1952 - began writing, attends the Agricultural Institute in Frunze
1954 - published his first short story "Ak jaan (White rain)"
1956 - graduated from the Agricultural Institute with distinction, studies at Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow
1957 - published his first story "Face to face" in Kyrgyz, Louis Aragon translated "Jamilia" into French
1958 - published "Jamilia" in Kyrgyz & Russian, graduated the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, became a correspondent for Pravda
1959 - joined the Communist Party
1960 - published "Camel Eye"
1961 - published "The First Teacher" and "Goodbye, Aselle!"
1963 - published "The Mother Earth" and "Tales of Mountains and Steppes". This selected volume brought him the Lenin Prize
1964 - published "The Red Apple", Chairman of the Cinema Union of Kyrgyzia
1965 - published "Farewell, Gulsary!"
1967 - member of the Executive Board of the Soviet Writers' Union
1968 - won the Soviet State Prize for "Farewell, Gulsary!"
1970 - published "The White Steamboat"
1973 - published "The Ascent of Mt. Fuji"
1975 - published "Cranes came earlier"
1976 - won the Kyrgyz Toktogul Prize for "Cranes came earlier"
1977 - published "Spotted Dog Running Along the Seashore", won the second State Prize for "The White Steamboat"
1978 - he was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labour in USSR
1980 - published "The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years"
1983 - won third State Prize for his last novel
1984 - Chairman of Kyrgyz Writers' Union
1985 - won the Indian J.Nehru Prize
1986 - published "The Scaffold"
1988 - Academy Award of the Japanese Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Gold Olive Branch award
1990 - Soviet Ambassador to Luxemburg, an advisor to M. Gorbachev
1991 - Kyrgyz Ambassador to European Union
1994 - published "The White Cloud of Chyngis Khan" in German, Austrian Prize for European Literature
1995 - published "Cassandra's Brand" in German
1997 - published "Fairytales" in German. He was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor in Kyrgyzstan
1998 - published his memories "Childhood in Kirgizia" in German, awarded Friedrich Rueckert Prize in Germany
1999 - published the first volume "Selected Works", 5 volumes in Kyrgyz
2004 - won the Alexander Men & Leo Kopelev Prize in Germany
2006 - the first course of Aitmatov's short stories at the University of Frankfurt for students in Germany, published "An Eternal Bride" in Russian
2007 - presentation of his novel "Der Schneeleopard" in Germany
2008 - died in Nuremberg, Germany. He was buried in Ana Beyit Cemetry in Kyrgyzstan according to his last will.
Aitmatov was awarded the title of "Honorary Professor of Arts" by many European Universities as well as in Russia and Japan
Summary by Prof. Dr. Rahima Abduvalieva