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To Hell With Poets

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Winner of an English PEN Translates Award

“Baqytgul Sarmekova offers wry, darkly humorous portraits of ordinary Kazakh people held in the snare of patriarchy, cultural tradition, and postsocialist upheaval… Mirgul Kali deftly recreates the atmosphere of these everyday tensions as they quietly seethe just below the surface.” ––PEN/Heim judges’ citation

Vivid, hilarious and unsettling, the tragicomic characters of To Hell With Poets reflect the inner discord of the modern Kazakh. The stories move between the city and the aul, postsocialist and capitalist worlds, tradition and modernity. Incisive and unapologetic, Sarmekova refuses to hold back, offering a sharp and honest rendering of daily life in Kazakhstan.