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.
(ISBN 978-1-60927-757-4, $61.35; amazon.com)