Oralkhan Bokeev

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Oralkhan Bokeev (September 28, 1943 – May 1993) was a famous Kazakh writer.[1]


He was born in the village Chingistai of the Katon- Karagai region. After graduating from Chingistai High School in 1961, after Sultanmakhmut Toraigyrov, he worked as a pioneer leader, and later as "Altai" sovhoz’s tractor driver.

In 1968 by correspondence he graduated from National Kazakh University. He worked in the offices of the Bolshenarym regional newspaper "Enbek Tuy" and the East-Kazakhstan oblast “Communism Tuy." In 1968, he lived in Alma-Ata and worked in the offices of the youth newspaper "Leninshil Zhas" and the magazine "Zhulduz." In 1991, he was appointed chief editor of "Kazakh Adebiety” magazine. He died in May 1993 during a creative business trip to India.


He was recognized as a Writer from his first collection of narratives and short stories "Kamchiger" published in Alma-Ata in 1970. "All my stories are inspired by memories about my native place and real events of my youth, writes O. Bokeev. My countrymen, the Kazakhs - people of strong characters with honest and open hearts. As if enchanted, they live in the area favored by their ancestors. Devoted to their native land, they are proud, hardworking, and brave."

After his first collection, there appeared others: "Pleiades" (1971), "Where are You, White-Fronted Colt?" (1973), "Ice Mountains" (1975). His story collections: "Lightning Traces" (1978), "Singing Dunes" (1981), "The Scream" (1984), "Trains Go By" (1985), "Man-Deer "(1987), were translated into Russian. Each line in Bokeev’s books is inspired by his native land. Within this area of the country are the Bukhtarma river, the Altai range, and the snow caps of mount Belukha. There, the plains meet the sand dunes, and the taiga and camel trails meet with the deer paths.

His books were published in German, Slovak, Bulgarian, English, Hungarian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, as well as the languages of the CIS.


The heroes of his works by birth and occupation are village people: shepherds, herdsmen, deer-breeders, mechanizes, and foresters; elderly and very young. These are people with a strongly marked national character and a unique spiritual formation. Men and women, young and old, educated and not, all struggle with the secrets and riddles of human existence. They also battle the eternal and fateful problems of the human soul. The description of nature by 0. Bokeev is an indispensable and equal participant in the events of his literary works. It interferes with the lives of the heroes, forms the characters, and asks, guides, and examines these characters. For example, Aspan, from the story "The Scream", lands in the valley of ice captivity. A shepherd, from the story "Singing Dunes,” rescues a sheep flock from the onslaught of mad disaster. Young tractor-drivers from the novel "Snow Girl" get lost on the road on a pitch-black January night. All of these events are both real and metaphorical. Heroes are immersed in the elements of nature. The rhythm of life coincides with the rhythm of nature. All of O. Bokeev’s prose is directed toward the contemplation of good and evil, of strength and courage, and of true and false spiritual values.


He has state awards:
  • the Order "Badge of Honor
  • " Diploma of Presidium of the Supreme Kazakh SSR