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The Railway

23rd September 2006

Dear All

Received from the Pushkin Club

Best wishes

Ute

October 19th, 6.45 pm: THE RAILWAY: Hamid Ismailov in conversation with
Robert
Chandler at Asia House, New Cavendish St, London, WC1

Set in Uzbekistan between 1900 and 1980, Hamid Ismailov’s novel, THE
RAILWAY
introduces to us the inhabitants of the small town of Gilas on the ancient
Silk
Route. Their colourful lives offer a unique and comic picture of a
little-known
land populated by outgoing Mullahs, incoming Bolsheviks, and a plethora
of
Uzbeks, Russians, Persians, Jews, Koreans, Tartars and Gypsies. Rich and
picaresque, THE RAILWAY chronicles the dramatic changes felt throughout
Central
Asia in the twentieth century. 'A work of rare beauty – an utterly
readable,
compelling book' – Craig Murray. 'A scintillating novel' – Shusha Guppy.

>
> “And the boy shouted, ‘Girl, I love you,’ and this time there wasn’t
anything
he was frightened of, because he knew that in the falling darkness his
voice
would not carry beyond this ploughed earth, beyond these Russian olives,
beyond
this emptiness which was by now a personal emptiness that he had himself
marked
and filled, filled so full that now he wanted to leave it alone, like
well-worked dough that has already risen to the top of the bowl; and he
began to
walk quickly back along the sleepers.”
>
> Hamid Ismailov has published many books of poetry and prose in both
Uzbek and
Russian. Regarded as having ‘unacceptably democratic tendencies’, he was
forced
to flee his homeland. He came to London in 1994 and is now head of the
BBC
Central Asia Service. Robert Chandler, who translated The Railway from
the
original Russian, is also the translator of Vasily Grossman’s Life and
Fate and
the editor/translator of Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida
(Penguin
Classics, 2005). His co-translations of Andrey Platonov have won several
prizes.
>
> Tickets: £7 (Asia House members and concs £4). Phone 020 7307 5454.
email:
[removed]
>

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