by Kazat Akmatov

“Thirteen Steps towards the Fate of Erika Klaus” by the National Writer of Kyrgyzstan, Kazat Akmatov is set in a remote outpost governed by a fascist regime, based on real events in a mountain village in Kyrgyzstan ten years ago. It narrates challenges faced by a young, naïve Norwegian woman who has volunteered to teach English. Immersed in the local community, her outlook is excitable and romantic until she experiences the brutal enforcement of the political situation on both her own life and the livelihood of those around her. Events become increasingly violent, made all the more shocking by Akmatov’s sensitive descriptions of the magnificent landscape, the simple yet proud people and their traditional customs.

Illustrations by Varvara Perekrest        Design & Typeset by Aleksandra Vlasova


Its documentary style, based on real events set in a Kyrgyz border village, coupled with dark psychological themes of human behaviour make for a chillingly genuine examination of what horrors can lie inside those with power and authority. Gripping throughout, this book will keep the pages turning right until its shocking end.

Nick Rowan, Author: Friendly Steppes: A Silk Road JourneyEditor-in-Chief of Open Central Asia Magazine


In an allegorical tale set in a remote border post and the surrounding village, the heroine, Erika Kraus, takes thirteen steps towards the sun, but discovers that life in “The Post” is violent, cheap and lawless. In a challenging read, that brings together hope, despair, naivety, calculating cynicism, courage, and foolhardiness, tenderness and brutality – Akmatov leaves us with question: Is it just a story or is it reality; A fantasy, a dream or surrealistic nightmare? Or is it a little bit of each?

Ian Claytor, Travel Writer


……. the novel focuses on a regime embedded with the most heinous crime against humanity, where ordinary people are forced to betray one another in order to scape a basic living.
I have utmost admiration for this author but this time, it is not the attention of Moscow’s party patrol which I fear, but rather, the adverse reaction of the alleged Kyrgyz Nationalists and Separatists.

Sooronbai Zhusuev,
Poet and National hero of Kyrgyzstan

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