Author(s): Hamid Ismailov
'I am Moscow's underground son, the result of one too many nights on the town.' So begins the story of Mbobo, the precocious 12-year-old narrator of this captivating novel by exiled Uzbek author and BBC journalist Hamid Ismailov. Born to a Siberian woman and an African athlete who came to compete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Mbobo must navigate the complexities of being a fatherless, mixed- raced boy in the shaky terrain of the Soviet Union before its collapse. The Underground was named one of 'the best Russian novels of the 21st Century' (Continent Magazine).
Born in an ancient city in what is now Kyrgyzstan, Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek novelist and poet who was forced to leave his home in Tashkent when his writing brought him to the attention of government officials. Under threat of arrest, he moved to London and joined the BBC World Service, where he is now Head of the Central Asian Service. In addition to journalism, Ismailov is a prolific writer of poetry and prose, and his books have been published in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish, English and other languages. His work is still banned in Uzbekistan. He is the author of many novels, including "Sobranie Utonchyonnyh," "Le Vagabond Flamboyant," "Two Lost to Life," "The Railway," "Hostage to Celestial Turks," "Googling for Soul," "The Underground," "A Poet and Bin-Laden," and "The Dead Lake"; poetry collections including "Sad (Garden)" and "Pustynya (Desert)"; and books of visual poetry including "Post Faustum" and "Kniga Otsutstvi." He has translated Russian and Western classics into Uzbek, and Uzbek and Persian classics into Russian and several Western languages.