Gaia, Queen of Ants

by Hamid Ismailov

Rating: 5 (1 vote)

Tags: Set in Uzbekistan Male author

Gaia, Queen of Ants

From Uzbek author-in-exile Hamid Ismailov comes a dark new parable of power, corruption, fraud, and deception. Ismailov narrates an intimate clash of civilizations as he follows the lives of three expatriates living in England. Domrul is a young Turk with vague and painful memories of ethnic strife in the Uzbekistan of his childhood. His Irish girlfriend Emer struggles with her own adolescent trauma from growing up in war-torn Bosnia. Domrul is the caretaker for Gaia, the eighty-year-old, powerful wife of a Soviet party boss with a mysterious past. One of Ismailov’s few novels written in Uzbek, Gaia, Queen of Ants offers a rare portrait of a complex and little-known part of the world. A plot centered on political corruption and ethnic conflict is punctuated with Sufi philosophy and religious gullibility. As Ismailov’s characters grapple with questions of faith, power, sex, and family, Gaia, Queen of Ants presents a moving tale of universal themes set against a Central Asian backdrop in the twenty-first century.


Read Around The World Challenge user profile avatar for Shelley
(10 months ago)
18 Sep, 2023
Reading Uzbek author Hamid Ismailov’s latest novel, Gaia, Queen of Ants, translated by Shelley Fairweather-­Vega, is like falling head first into a cauldron filled with a rich blend of mythology, Sufi fables, politics, various cultures and humour. ― The National So impressive is the novel that one need not be familiar with other Uzbek works or culture, or even other Central Asian writing, to recognize its high quality. Any patience the novel may demand from the reader is an effort well-rewarded. ― Asian Review of Books

Add comment

Country: Uzbekistan flag Uzbekistan
Language: EN

More books from Uzbekistan

The Dancer from Khiva The Devils' Dance The Dead Lake

More books from Read Around Asia Challenge

The Madman of Freedom Square Days at the Morisaki Bookshop Nieve