Hamid Ismailov

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Hamid Ismailov (Russian: Хамид Исмайлов) (Uzbek: Ҳамид Исмоилов or Абдулҳамид Исмоил) born May 5, 1954 in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan,[1] is an Uzbek journalist and writer who was forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992 and came to the United Kingdom, where he took a job with the BBC World Service. His works are banned in Uzbekistan.

Life and career[edit]

Ismailov graduated from the military school on communication and later several departments of Tashkent University (Biology, Law, Management)[2]

Ismailov has published dozens of books in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish and other languages. Among them books of poetry: "Сад" (Garden) (1987), "Пустыня" (Desert) (1988); of visual poetry: "Post Faustum" (1990), "Книга Отсутстви" (1992); novels "Собрание Утончённых" (1988), Le vagabond flamboyant (1993), Hay-ibn-Yakzan (2001), Hostage to Celestial Turks (2003), "Дорога к смерти больше чем смерть" (The road to death is bigger than death) (2005), and many others. He has translated Russian and Western classics into Uzbek, and Uzbek and Persian classics into Russian and some Western languages.

Ismailov's novel The Railway (Russian: Железная дорога), originally written before he left Uzbekistan, was the first to be translated into English, by Robert Chandler, and was published in 2006. A Russian edition was published in Moscow in 1997 under the pseudonym Altaer Magdi (Russian: Алтаэр Магди).[3] Another novel, A Poet and Bin-Laden (English translation of "Дорога к смерти больше чем смерть"), translated by Andrew Bromfield, was published in September 2012.[4] His triptych of novels, "Мбобо", in English The Underground (published worldwide by Restless Book,[5] Googling for Soul, and Two Lost to Life have also been translated into English.[4] His book "The Dead Lake" (English translation of "Вундеркинд Ержан" by Andrew Bromfield) was published by Peirene Press early in 2014.[6] His novel "The Devils' Dance" was published by Tilted Axis Press in 2018.

On 30 April 2010, the BBC announced Ismailov's appointment as Writer in Residence for BBC World Service for two years. The blog was launched on 10 May 2010.[7] On the 31 December 2014 Hamid Ismailov announced on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that he stops his tenure which lasted 4,5 years.[8] In June 2012, Ismailov represented Uzbekistan at the Poetry Parnassus in London.


  1. ^ "Хамид Исмайлов - Берег новостей". www.uzbereg.ru. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Хамид Исмайлов. "Ночь Предопределения" / само предлежащее / сетевой журнал TextOnly.ru, выпуск #26". textonly.ru. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  3. ^ Diane Nemec Ignashev, review of Ismailov, The Railway, Slavic and East European Journal 51.2 (Summer 2007), p. 415.
  4. ^ a b "A Poet and Bin-Laden - Hamid Ismailov - Glagoslav Publications". www.glagoslav.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  5. ^ https://www.restlessbooks.com/the-underground
  6. ^ http://www.peirenepress.com/books/coming_of_age/peirene_no_13
  7. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC World Service appoints Hamid Ismailov as Writer in Residence". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Security Check Required". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.


External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

KOCIEJOWSKI, Marius. God's Zoo: Artists, Exiles, Londoners (Carcanet, 2014) contains a biographical chapter "A Ghostly Hum of Parallel Lines – Hamid Ismailov, Writer, and Razia Sultanova, Musician"