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Jamilia by Chinghiz Aitmatov

Jamilia (1957)

by Chinghiz Aitmatov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4211925,173 (3.96)51

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English (14)  German (3)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Jamilia is a quick read. At around twenty-thousand words, the novella reads more like a short story with a little more build up. There's not much time for character development or setting, but that doesn't hinder the story in the slightest. Jamilia is a great piece of observation. It wonderfully captures the perspective of a child whose understanding of the world is rather juvenile. It also effectively shows a budding romance from an outside perspective. There's nothing thrilling or magical here, but it is a well-told story that introduces the reader to the people and traditions of Kyrgyzstan. ( )
  chrisblocker | Jul 29, 2014 |
A Russian romance among the peasant labourers in WW11. The returned soldier Daniyar wins Jamilia's heart with his beautiful singing and she leaves her home and her husband. I'd love to have heard his singing, but the prose felt a little flat to me. Has a folk tale feel about it. ( )
  RobinDawson | Nov 18, 2013 |
A small gem ( )
  PaulDalton | Sep 28, 2013 |

Jamilia is more a novella than a novel. It appears to be a love story set against a backdrop of war, with multiple and conflicting loyalties and alliances, but is also an allegory about fighting for and longing for one's homeland. An enjoyable if brief novel that depicts a pastoral Kyrgyz village of more than half a century ago. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |

This was a short book, at just 96 pages. An excellent translation from Kyrgyz, full of feeling and wonderful descriptions of the countryside of Kyrgyzstan.

Set during WWII, the men of the villages are all off fighting at the front while the day to day running of the farms is left to women, youngsters and the injured. Grain must be transported over many miles to collection points from whence it is delivered to the fighting soldiers. Seit, the narrator, his sister-in-law, Jamila and Daniyar, an injured soldier are responsible for making the daily trecks to the collection depot from their village.
Gradually we get to know the the characters and watch their interactions during these long journeys.

The book is described as a love story but it is also a taste of life in a remote part of the world, at a particular time in history.
Unfortunately my copy pretty much told the story on the back cover, so there were no surprises, but it was still an interesting read, atmospheric and spare. ( )
1 vote DubaiReader | Dec 28, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chinghiz Aitmatovprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aragon, LouisPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drohla, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ebeling-van Delft, R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleckhaus, WillyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herboth, HartmutTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lukner, R. F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riordan, JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weijers, MonseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Here I stand before this little painting in its simple frame.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please don't combine with works that contain more than this single novella!
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Jamilia's husband is off fighting at the front. She spends her days hauling sacks of grain from the threshing floor to the train station in their small village in the Caucasus. She is accompanied by Seit, her young brother-in-law, and Damiyar, a sullen newcomer to the village who has been wounded on the battlefield.… (more)

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