Abdulla Qodiriy (April 10, 1894 – October 4, 1938), author of the first Uzbek novel, translator of Russian literature into the Uzbek language, and nonfictional protagonist of Hamid Ismailov’s The Devil’s Dance.
Qodiriy was arrested for an article he published and was later executed.
In The Devil’s Dance, Ismailov explores the idea of the rumored last novel of Qodiriy that the NKVD destroyed after his arrest.
Ismailov is persona non grata in his own homeland and his books remain banned in Uzbekistan.
Cecile Licad’s mother once relayed to us how she created a learning environment for her daughter: She saw to it that the piano was ready, as well as the chair and the books, so that all the little child had to do was play the piano. It must have been effective. She produced a Cecile Licad.
Singapore reminds me of such a mother. The first ad I noticed on the MRT upon arriving was that of the National Library Board’s “National Reading Movement” with the hashtag #ReadingNationSG. Singapore inspires her citizens to read by providing beautiful and strategically-located public libraries all over the city-state, making reading materials as accessible as hawker stalls. The Rotunda Library at the National Gallery is a great resource for books on visual arts, the Library@Orchard lures the literature and design lovers, the Library@Esplanade — Oh! I don’t even know where to begin about this one! One impressive library dedicated to the performing arts!
Because of this encouraged culture of reading, the most wonderful bookstores are also flourishing here! And what a joy to see these establishments teeming with young people! It has truly become a reading nation! As a tourist, this is what I want to emphasize about Singapore — not another picture of the Merlion, not Marina Bay Sands, not the Singapore flyer, not Universal Studios; because this reading culture is probably the best thing about Singapore. Well… that, and the food. The reading and the eating culture!