Famous writer Aitmatov dies aged 79

One of the most famous and influential writers in post-Soviet countries, Chinghiz Aitmatov, has died in a hospital in Nuremberg, Bavaria, according to Germany’s DPA news agency.

The 79-year-old novelist was undergoing treatment there.

The DPA news agency says his death was caused by the after-effects of severe pneumonia which led to lung and renal failure.

Chinghiz Aitmatov was born in 1928 in a tiny village in Kyrgyzstan.

His literary career took a big turn when in 1958 he wrote the novel 'Jamilya' which made him famous overnight.

The text was translated into French by the poet Louis Aragon who called it 'the world's most beautiful love story'.
It was Aitmatov’s later novel ‘The Scaffold’ (1988) that brought him fame in the West.

Aitmatov also served as Soviet, and later Kyrgyz ambassador, to Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as to the EU and NATO.