Stephen M. Bland
Freelance Journalist, Award-Winning Author, Travel Writer, Researcher and Editor specialising in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Book Editing Work
Alexander Kazarnovsky - War Will Tell the Further Plan
In 2014, another outbreak of violence occurred in the Gaza Strip. The children of Hamid, a schoolteacher from Gaza, were the victims of Hamas, who used them as ‘human shields.’ Hamid decides to go to Germany to tell a correspondent of a Stuttgart newspaper about the culprits behind the murder of his family. Crossing a tunnel into Israel, he finds shelter with a resident of a kibbutz named Moshe. In Germany, however, things do not go as planned.
Alissa Klima - Children of the Red Horde
Set in Uzbekistan against the backdrop of the fall of the USSR, Children of the Red Horde is a dazzling tale of love, social mores and betrayal told by numerous narrators. A worthy addition to any bookshelf, Klima's vivid prose brings not only her characters but the sights and smells of Tashkent to life in this poignant and thoroughly engrossing, living, breathing tale about the last generation of the Soviet Union.
Sergey Bely - Maestro and Muse: A Poem
Sergey Bely’s epic poem, The Maestro and His Muse tells the story of the bard, the Maestro, and his partner. A tale of romance, travel and adventures set against the backdrop of a world in turmoil as Satan and his servants play their wicked games, the verses take in a broad sweep of literature and history.
The Kazakh Model for a Research University - T. Espolov, K. Tireuov, A. Kurdeko, M. Alekseyeva, U. Kerimova, et al.
Higher education institutes in Kazakhstan that have been modernised to become research universities create considerable opportunities for cooperation between academia and production industries. This allows the very latest scientific knowledge to be implemented in the development of mass-produced goods.
Farkhod from Navghilem - Gulsifat Shahidi
In the wake of the civil war which devastated Tajikistan, Gulsifat Shakhidi's Farkhod from Navghilem tells the story of Farkhod and his friends, who navigate the new world they find themselves in with wit and a happy-go-lucky approach as they laugh through the tears. Written with an easy charm and deeply felt empathy for these characters which jump from the page, the novella is fast-paced, humorous, and a joy to read.
Conceptually-Grounded Cognitive-Lingual Basics of Forming a Multilingual Personality - S. S. Kunanbayeva
A manual focused on the conceptual basics of cognitive linguistics in the theory and practice of intercultural communication and the formation of a multilingual personality which describes the patterns of the formation of a global intercultural space.
It's Hard to be an Angel - Aldona Grupas
Part instruction manual, part self-help book, and part autobiography, It’s Hard to be an Angel delves into questions about nursing the elderly and infirm. Drawing on her thirty years’ experience in the field, Aldona Grupas’ deeply compassionate book addresses the best approaches to caregiving, and how to take on this role without succumbing to stress and depression.
The Russian Mentality as a Fundamental Factor in Russian Management Methods - V. V. Kozlov
An exploration into the birth processes of the Russian mentality set in juxtaposition to Western mentalities, V. V. Kozlov draws on the works of many eminent philosophers, historians, sociologists and authors in his research. In analysing how the Russian state has changed over the course of millennia, the author focuses on the influence the Russian mentality has had on the development of modern Russian society, including the issues of management and governance, legal nihilism, various types of rights and freedoms, corruption in power structures, personnel policy, and Russia’s place an increasingly contradictory world. With interesting arguments on the roots of ‘Russophobia’ and possible avenues for the future development of civil society, Kozlov’s The Russian Mentality is at times illuminating, at others controversial, but never dull.
Ion Jani - And Longer Life Lasts
Ion Jani's 'And Longer Life Lasts' details the lives of ethnic Armenian Karabakhis in the second half of the nineteenth century; their traditions and customs, and moments of joy and sadness,. The book is filled with ideas about the past which are carefully preserved in the memory of the generations and passed on like black and white photographs from a family album.
Gulsifat Shakhidi - True Paradise, Lost Paradise
The latest book by the Tajik author, Gulsifat Shahidi brings together a selection of articles, reviews and interviews. From reminiscences about her youth during Soviet times to meditations on the nature of nostalgia and what constitutes a true homeland, Shahidi’s thought-provoking articles are filled with a bright sadness, fused at once with both joy and an aching sense of melancholy. In her reviews, the author’s boundless enthusiasm leaps from the pages, whilst her interviews with important figures from contemporary Tajik history are characterised by an open dialogue which speaks to her mastery of the art of journalism.
Ludmila Dubcovetcaia - Rhymes About Boys
A prize-winning poem by Moldovan author, Lyudmila Dubovetskaya, Rhymes about Boys is a vibrant tour de force. Joyful and witty in equal measure, this engaging and fast-paced book is bound to captivate children.
Arina Chunaeva - Leia the Little Mouse
An award-winning debut by screenwriter Arina Chunaeva, her children's book follows the adventures of a small, determined mouse called Leia who loves to draw and paint more than anything else in the world but lives in a town where the authorities are determined to stifle the passions and aspirations of its citizens. A charming and engaging tale, Leia the Little Mouse is a book that both adults and children will enjoy.
Gary Cartwright - Wanted Man - The Story of Mukhtar Ablyazov
With the tenth anniversary of his flight from the authorities in his homeland of Kazakhstan fast approaching, the raft of transnational court cases involving fugitive embezzler Mukhtar Ablyazov show no sign of abating. In a global saga which stretches from an institutional aversion to tackling kleptocracy in the United Kingdom to United States President Donald Trump’s shady business partners, the murky world of Mukhtar Ablyazov even led his family to make a pit stop in the Central African Republic to pick up diplomatic passports. Yet despite having judgements against him totalling $4.9 billion in the British courts alone, almost six years since he fled from the UK to avoid three concurrent 22-month sentences for contempt of court, Ablyazov remains a free man.
Gulsifat Shakhidi - Tales of Grandma Gulsifat
In her expertly-crafted book of fairy tales, Gulsifat Shahidi manages to excite the imaginations of children, whilst evoking a warm, yet melancholy sense of nostalgia in older readers. Funny and engaging, filled with both hope and sorrow, her stories are also instructive, extrapolating on wider themes which affect us all.
Zinaida Longortova - Blue River
Through her childhood reminiscences, Zinaida Longortova brings to life a remote region in far-northern Russia. Extrapolating the folklore and mythology of the Khanty people from her experiences - set around the simple story of a wounded elk calf - the author explores the bonds between humans and nature. Yet whilst this is a novella about a little known indigenous group, the narrative succeeds in harnessing powerful emotions which speak to us all. A timeless story, at once both joyful and melancholy, Blue River is a beguiling tale for all age groups.
Shahzoda Nazarova - Stockholm Syndrome
Called ‘taboo-breaking… revolutionary" by RFE/RL, Stockholm Syndrome is one of the most controversial books to emerge from Tajik society in recent years. The story of a young woman’s struggle to choose between her career and motherhood, the novella shocked this traditional and conservative society. A remembrance of childhood and rumination upon challenges present and future, Nazarova’s work explores themes of immigration and identity. Acclaimed as ‘ahead of its time’ by Persian reviewers, Stockholm Syndrome is an emotional tour de force.
Gulsifat Shakhidi - I am Looking Towards the East
Bringing together two works by the Tajik author, Gulsifat Shahidi, I am Looking Towards the East and Sentimental Journey or All in Good Time, this title takes an in-depth look at the historical relationship between Tajik and Russian literature and literary figures. Volume one draws an endearing portrait of the nineteenth-century translator-poet, Vasily Zhukovsky, whilst volume two concentrates on Russian-Tajik literary connections during the early years of the Soviet Union. Through her painstaking analysis of texts, archival documents and personal interviews, Shahidi masterfully bringing the characters and events of both periods to life. Her works are both academic thesis and a lovingly drawn living history.
Maide Akan - Aysu and the Magic Bag
Maide Akan is a young writer, illustrator, and eco-designer from Astana, Kazakhstan. She is who composes and illustrates stories about Aysu, a girl who leads a campaign to highlight environmental issues. Written with a charm and sophistication which belie her tender years, Akan’s narrative is a seamless blend of fantasy and more modern concerns. Beautifully illustrated, her work is sad and poignant, yet full of youthful hope for the future.