Nursultan A. Nazarbayev (b.1940) was elected president of Kazakhstan in December 1991. Sergey Tereshchenko and Akezhan Kazhegeldin have each served as prime minister since independence in 1991. Abay Ibragin Kunanbayev (1845-1904) is internationally known as a 19th century humanist and poet, and is considered the founder of modern Kazakh literature. Contemporary writer Mukhtar Awezov wrote Abay, a novel about steppe life that was translated into English. The novelist Kaltay Muhamedjanov is from Kazakhstan.