Dulat Issabekov


That was what literary critics and his contemporaries called Dulat Issabekov, when he became a well-known writer of Kazakhstan. When he had been just over a year old, Dulat had fallen seriously ill and …died…or so they thought. The child’s body had been put out into a cold corridor prior to its burial the following day. Everything was ready for the funeral – the long shirt the child was to be buried in and the meal for the wake after the burial. Then all of a sudden the old neighbour, who had been entrusted with the task of carrying out the infant’s body and handing it to the grave-diggers, let out a frantic scream. It turned out that the child was still alive and not just alive but laughing after catching sight of the old woman. This was how Dulat had returned from the other world just an hour before his funeral was due to start. That happened in 1943, exactly a year after his father had been killed at the Battle of Stalingrad. The writer was to recall: “We were children then, but robbed of our childhood. Our fathers had been lost at the front and our childhood in villages far away from it”. Dulat’s mother died on the very day he joined the Communist Youth League aged 14. After that his elder brothers and sisters assumed responsibility for him and he went to a boarding-school for orphans in the town of Arys. After leaving school, Dulat was apprenticed as a fitter in railway communications. In 1961 he gained a place at the Philology Faculty of the Kazakh State University, from which he graduated in 1966.

When Dulat had been a student in his final year, a collection of his stories and novellas, entitled “Beket”, was published. It was to prove a sensation at the time. The response from critics and readers was a rapturous one.

Since 1996 – Member of Kazakhstan Social Democratic Party “Aul”. 1966 -1967 – the editor of the Kazakh Radio, served in the Soviet Army. 1971 – Head of “Zhuldyz“ Journal ; 1973 – Head of the editorial publishing “Zhalyn”; 1983 – Editor-repertoire of the editorial board of the Ministry of Culture of the Kazakh SSR; 1989 – chief editor of political books; 1991 – General Director of Radio and Television of the Kazakh SSR kazaskogo television. 1992 – Director of the publishing house “Zhazushy.” 1998 – Director of the Kazakh Research Institute of Culture and Art. D.Issabekov actively engaged in social activities. He is a member of Arts Council Of “Kazakhfilm” Sh Aimanov, a member of the political council of the party “Aul”, a member of the executive committee of the Kazakh PEN –Club. The first story Dulat Issabekov “The Way“(“В пути”) was included in a collection of stories of writers of Kazakhstan “Contemporary” in 1963, when he was still a third-year university. In the same year, in the most popular newspaper of the time, “Leninshil zhas” was published his story “Shoyynkulak” and one day, as they say, he woke up famous young writer. And in 1966, when he was still on the last year of degree, his separate collection of stories called “Becket“ was published. Literary critics unanimously celebrated his literary success and unique talent. “Becket”, “Gauһar tas”, “Notes lodger”, “Restless Days”, “line of communication”, “Wormwood”, “on the sidelines”, “Silent”, “You did not know war,” “Transit passenger” and dozens other stories were published one after the other in the press and as a separate book. And in 1980 came the publication of his novel “Қargyn” (“Confusion”), which to this day is very popular especially among the youth.

His works – “Father’s house”, “New Home in the old house,” “Transit passenger” were published in book form by Moscow publishing house “Soviet writer”, “Russian book.” The novel “Қargyn” “Atamura” (2012); Collection (in 7 volumes ). “Atamura”, 2012; “Gauһar tas”, “Atamura”, 2012; Collection of translated works,  “Audarma” 2012. Movies of D.Issabekov: “Gauһar tas “(1975); “Wormwood” (1994); “Destiny” (based on the story “Tirshilik”, 1998); “Munlyk-Zarlyk” animated film, the studio (“Zhebe”) (2010); “Bird of Happiness” – the agency “Khabar” (2011); “The Lottery” – Film studio “Kazakhfilm” Sh.Aymanov (2012); «The old sister» – TV series.

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