The literary life of EDWARD JAMES, author,reviewer, occasional poet and former pension adviser to the government of Kyrgyzstan
The story on the latest page on my blog is clearly not autobiographical, although it was inspired by the time I spent in Kyrghistan in Central Asia. I took part in two projects there and my story is a composite of the stories told to me by some of my staff.
It was originally written for the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network competition but was not placed. At the time it had a downbeat ending, a sort of Kyrghiz version of Madame Butterfly. I’ve sine given it a more upbeat ending, but I’m not sure that it works.
I was in Kyrghizstan (or the Kyrghiz Republic to give it its official name) in the 1990’s. The country was achingly poor and foreigners were a rarity, enough so to be arrested on sight and interrogated for several hours at the police station on suspicion of being a drug smuggler. Today there is an American air base in Bishkek and a Russian base nearby and if one has the money there are tours one can take of the country.
If you can go there, do. It is not an arid plain, like most of Central Asia, but a land of high mountains and lush valleys, possibly the mosy beautiful country on earth.