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Saken Zhunusov

кazakh writer and playwright, people’s writer of Kazakhstan, laureate of the state prize of the Kazakh SSR.

  • Biography
  • Book


From the Pleiade of generation of the thirties…


Saken Nurmakovich Zhunusov was born on February 1, 1934 in the village of Kyzyl-Tu (now – Kishkenekol of Ualikhanovskiy district) of North Kazakhstan region. In his family there were five children. His father directed the district, mother worked as the teacher and headed a Women’s Council. The future writer studied easily, especially loved language and literature, this is why his desire to enter the faculty of Philology was not unexpected. He graduated with honors from school and entered the philological faculty of the Kazakh state University named after Kirov, and later graduated from postgraduate course. The student years were the beginning of creative activity of the young writer. Most of the first works of the writer were addressed to children. In 1959, the first book — a collection of short stories «Sonarda» was published in Kazakh language. And two years later he publishes his second collection «Babushka i lekar» and a picture-book «Chye zhilye luchshe». After KazSU he returned to his homeland and worked as a teacher. The reason for his return was his father’s illness.

Later Saken Nurmakovich went to Almaty. Here he worked in the editorial office of the magazine «Pioner», studied at the postgraduate course of KazSU. By the way, he became one of the last postgraduate students of the classic of Kazakh literature Mukhtar Auezov. During this considerable and important period of life, Saken Zhunusov headed the Literary Department of the Kazakh Academic Drama Theater named after M. Auezov, was the head of department in the newspaper «Kazak adebiyety», worked as the Director of the Kazakh branch of the USSR literary Fund, the Secretary of the Union of writers of Kazakhstan, he graduated from the courses of the Literary Institute named after Gorky in Moscow. Saken Zhunusov made a huge contribution to the development of Kazakh literature. A significant phenomenon was the novel about virgin lands «Dom v stepi», which was published in Russian in 1968 in the publishing house «Zhazushy». In 1989, the magazine «Molodaya gvardiya» in the translation of the famous Russian writer V. Soloukhin was published a novel by S. Zhunusov «Zamanay i Amanay». Saken Nurmakovich became a prize winner of this magazine. According to experts and connoisseurs of literature «Zamanay i Amanay» is undoubtedly an outstanding work. In 1996 director B. Shmanov filmed an artistic film.

The study of the history of the Kazakh people, as well as interest in song creativity led the writer to create a novel-dilogy «Akhan-sere». The novel was published in «Sovetskiy pisatel» publishing house in 1979.

The daily life of the writer was interesting and eventful. Music, singing, cooking, sports. He is also an excellent translator. He translated Zweig, Tolstoy, Goncharov, other famous Russian and foreign writers. Active position allowed him to have time for many things: forums, meetings, meetings, competitions, the mushaira.

Saken Zhunusov will remain in the memory of people as a bright and extraordinary personality with irrepressible love of life, an outstanding writer, and the same favorite of the people as the hero of his novel «Akhan-sere».