On August 1st 1991, Marzia Zakiryanova’s life had been split in two through a single twist of fate which left this mother of two small children disabled. Narrating her tale of self-conquest, the author speaks about how she managed to hold her family together and win the respect and recognition of people around her. By the time Marzia’s book went to print she had already passed away, but not before making the final correction to her script. We bid farewell to this powerful and remarkably creative woman.

The Marzia Zakiryanova Prize of $5000 for the best female work was won by, Shahzoda Nazarova from Tajikistan for her poem, Dialogue with the West. The prize was presented by Marzia’s grandson, Tamerlan Zakiryanova, along with Yakutian poet, Natalia Kharlampieva (winner of the award in 2015).

Shahzoda is a young poet, writer and journalist who also founded the first Tajik TV program, Chashme Del, in Samarkand after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nazarova published two Persian novels; Stockholm Syndrome by Khavaran press (Paris, 2011) and Motherland by H&S Media (London, 2013). Motherland has since been translated into Cyrillic and Arabic scripts.