A New Book: “Medal of Honour”
Chechen writer Musa Mutaev’s first novel “Medal of Honour” has recently been translated into Norwegian and published.
Musa Mutaev’s first book, which was written in Russian years ago, has just been translated into Norwegian and titled “Æresmedaljen” (Medal of Honour) by Alf B. Glad. The daily Norwegian newspaper “Dagsavisen” has published a review of the translated book. According to the newspaper, Chechen history has been, and still is, dramatic. War and brutality have been common denominators in the country’s realtionship with Russia, the Soviet Union, and now, Russia again. This experience is present in Musa Mutaev’s stories, but his perspective is wider. “Medal of Honour” recounts the horror of Russia’s attempt to ethnically cleanse Chechnya during World War II. Joseph Stalin was afraid that Chechens might collaborate with Germany, so he ordered the deportion of the entire Chechen nation in 1944 to the steppes of Kazakhstan and Siberia. The first villagers were only able to return in 1957, after over a decade of hardship and tragedy. It is mostly emphasized on the deportation order and departure, but it also touches on the 13 year stay in Asia’s steppes and the return. When the Chechens were finally allowed to return in 1957, they discovered that their lands were distributed to Russian colonists, their houses had been taken over and rebuilt. The only support that deported and returning Chechens had was from the Jewish population, a group that knew well what deportation, pogroms and eternal exile meant. In brief, “Medal of Honour” follows one village’s journey, from deportation to the eventual return to their homeland.
Musa Mutaev has lived in exile nearly his entire life. His family, together with the entire Chechen nation, was deported into Central Asia in 1944 and relocated to Chechnya when he was a year old. He arrived in Norway as a guest writer of the International Cities of Refuge Network, and stayed to live and work there. Much of Mutaev’s writing has been devoted to the struggles for Chechen independence. He writes in Chechen, and the texts have been translated into Russian. His first book of stories about Chechnya that was published in Norway in 2007, titled “I Kuntas Skygge” (In the Shadow of Kunta) was declared a “Masterpiece of Modern European literature”. In 2009, in his second book “Inntil morgendagen kommer” (Until Tomorrow Comes), Mutaev told new stories about the Chechen culture, past and present, and critics called it “a rare and distinguished read”. “Æresmedaljen” (Medal of Honour) is the third book that he has published in Norway, even though it was his first novel in actuality.
For further information and order the book, you may visit HERE.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco