Author: Fazil Iskander
Translated by Robert Daglish
Published: Moscow Progress Publishers 
Lyrical and humorous, deeply national but concerned with the human condition at large, often about children but mainly for adults, Fazil Iskander's writing abounds, like his native Abkhazia, in colour and contrasts.
It is merriment and toil that make the earth beautiful, Iskander writes in one of his stories. These qualities are also typical of his characters, most of them drawn from his fellow countrymen, ever a mixture of gallantry and guile, humour and hard work.
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Fazil Iskander (born 1929) is a much admired and decorated Abkhazian writer. He chose to write in through the medium of Russian, and he is regarded by many as one of the finest of modern writers in this language. It would be wrong, however, to conclude that he does not know Abkhaz, an insulting charge laid against him by Georgian nationalists at the start of the recent Georgian-Abkhazian conflict in the late 1980s. Anyone wishing to familiarise themselves with the patterns of traditional Abkhazian life, Abkhazian attitudes and general culture can do no better than read Iskander’s works, notably Sandro of Chegem. One of Iskander’s popular characters, a young Abkhazian boy named Chik, has recently been modelled in bronze and set on the sea-front of the Abkhazian capital, Sukhum.
an Abkhazian Mark Twain By Susan Jacoby (The New York Times, May 15, 1983)