The Devils' Dance

by Hamid Ismailov

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The Devils' Dance

"On New Years' Eve 1938, the writer Abdulla Qodiriy is taken from his home by the Soviet secret police and thrown into a Tashkent prison. There, to distract himself from the physical and psychological torment of beatings and mindless interrogations, he attempts to mentally reconstruct the novel he was writing at the time of his arrest - based on the tragic life of the Uzbek poet-queen Oyhon, married to three khans in succession, and living as Abdulla now does, with the threat of execution hanging over her. As he gets to know his cellmates, Abdulla discovers that the Great Game of Oyhon's time, when English and Russian spies infiltrated the courts of Central Asia, has echoes in the 1930s present, but as his identification with his protagonist increases and past and present overlap it seems that Abdulla's inability to tell fact from fiction will be his undoing. The Devils' Dance - banned in Uzbekistan for twenty-seven years - brings to life the extraordinary culture of 19th century Turkestan, a world of lavish poetry recitals, brutal polo matches, and a cosmopolitan and culturally diverse Islam rarely described in western literature."--Publisher's description.

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Challenge: Read Around Asia Challenge
Country: Uzbekistan flag Uzbekistan
Language: EN
Genre: Historical
Recommended: 27 Aug 2022

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