Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 23, 2019

Sensational Snippets: The Revenge of the Foxes (2018), by Ak Welsapar, translated by Richard Govett

It’s autumn in Melbourne, and our grape vine is stunning.

So I was very taken with this beautiful excerpt from The Revenge of the Foxes by Turkmen author Ak Welsapar.  (He’s the one who wrote The Tale of Aypi).

I was at lunch in the city with my friend Mairi Neil (after visiting this exhibition) when one of the wait staff started sweeping up autumn leaves that had opportunistically blown inside the café through the opened door.  I had Welsapar’s book with me, to read on the train, and I read out the passage to her.  (This is what is so nice about having friends who are writers: you can do things like this without them thinking that it’s peculiar.)

I remember that autumn, I remember the vicissitudes of time and departing warmth, I remember the feeling of pain.  Each leaf of the old oak tree in the hospital courtyard would break off and fall, as if counting the minutes; longing and grief filled my spirit.  The doomed autumn leaves would try with their last strength to break out of their predestined circle and save themselves from extinction.  They hastened in flocks after chance passers-by, alarmed by the movement of their steps.  Caught up from the moist earth by a gust of wind, the leaves would cling to people and tag along with them like stray dogs, ready faithfully to serve anyone not driving them away like noisome flies.  But no-one would stop, they all passed by and, deceived in their treasured hopes, the yellow and red leaves would fall into the mud and long continue to flutter in an attempt to rise and rush after new passers by.  (The Revenge of the Foxes, by Ak Welsapar, translated by Richard Govett, Glagoslav Publications, 2018, ISBN 9781912894109, p. 9-10)

I have only just begun reading this novella, but already I can tell that the metamorphosis of these leaves is a metaphor for the impending collapse of the Soviet Union.


  1. Ah, I remember that grape vine 😊


    • #FondMemories That was such a lovely day:)


  2. […] this week I posted this excerpt from The Revenge of the Foxes by Turkmen author Ak Welsapar, author of more than 20 novels […]


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