Kazakh literature is the literature created in the modern state of Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, the Kazakh part of the Russian Empire, and the Kazakh Khanate. There is some overlap with several complementary themes, including the literature of Turkic tribes that inhabited Kazakhstan over the course of the history and literature written by ethnic Kazakhs.
According to Chinese written sources of 6th-8th centuries CE, Turkic tribes of Kazakhstan had oral poetry tradition. Traces of this tradition are shown on stone carvings dated 5th-7th centuries C.E. that describes rule of Kultegin and Bilge, two early Turkic rulers ("kagans").
Book of Dede Korkut and Oguz Name (a story of ancient Turkic king Oghuz Khan) are the most well-known Turkic heroic legends. Initially created around 9th century CE, they were passed over the generations in oral form these legends were recorded by Turkish authors in 14-16th centuries C.E.
The preemininent role in the development of modern literary Kazakh belongs to Abay Qunanbayuli (or Kunanbayev, Kazakh: Абай Құнанбайұлы) (1845–1904), whose writings did much to preserve Kazakh folk culture. Abay's major work is The Book of Words (Kazakh: қара сөздері, Qara sözderi), a philosophical treatise and collection of poems where he criticizes Russian colonial policies and encourages other Kazakhs to embrace education and literacy.
Our Choice Books Selection
Books about Kazakhstan
- Odyssey Kazakhstan: "Nomadic Routes from Caspian to Altai" by Dagmar Schreiber
- The Anthology of Modern Kazakh Literature: The Stories of Great steppe by Rafis Abazov
- An Illustrated History of Kazakhstan: Asia's Heartland in Context by
- Hedonist's Guide to Almaty and Astana by Lucy Kelaart and Summer Colsh
- Apples Are from Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared by Cristopher Robbins
- Kazakhstan (Bradt Travel Guide) by HE Paul Brummel, UK Ambassador to Kazakhstan
- Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan by Jonathan Aitken
- Kazakhstan at Twenty: Fulfilling the Promise
- Green Desert: the Life and Poetry by Olzhas Suleimanov
- Islam without a Veil: Kazakhstan's Path of Modernization by Claude Salhani