Death of the Snake Catcher
Ak Welsapar, ed. By Richard Govett (Glagoslav Books)
Death of the Snake Catcher is a collection of short stories written by Ak Welsapar, and features tales of people in one of the most isolated countries in the world. A Turkmenistan-born writer who now lives in Sweden, Welsapar brings us this book as a representation of both his local and national identity.
The Turkmen writer uses the radiant Asiatic backdrop to perfection here, to deliver a group of unique and thought-provoking narratives. This is particularly prominent in the titular short story, where an old snake catcher meets a giant cobra in the heart of the baking desert. Elsewhere in Night of Egyptian Fear, he reminds us of the harsh realities of the man-made world we live in.
Welsapar uses his style of magical realism to portray the delicate relationship between man and nature, as well as showing the subtle balance between the strong and weak in society. Much of this is expressed through dynamic conversations, and the inner thoughts of the characters. This serves to make the stories accessible and engaging for its readers.
With its intense and striking language Death of the Snake Catcher is a page turner from start to finish. A must read for all those looking to experience Welsapar’s impressive written style and narrative.
words Lewis Smith
Price: £14. Info: www.glagoslav.com