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Mongol Paperback – January 16, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Saraband (January 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908643412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908643414
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A gripping read that will touch your heart... an enthralling tale, beautifully written. Moving and uplifting.' --Sheila Grant, NewBooks Magazine. 'An interesting narrative of considerable cultural insight and cross-cultural value.' --Colin Nicholson. 'Thought-provoking insight... honest and heart-wrenching.' --Penny Green, Down's Heart Group.

About the Author

Uuganaa Ramsay was born in Mongolia and grew up in a yurt, living a nomadic life eating marmot meat and distilling vodka from yoghurt. After winning a place on a teacher-training course she came to the UK, and now lives in Scotland. She wrote Mongol with the help of the Janetta Bowie Chalice Non-Fiction Book Award from the Scottish Association of Writers. It is her first book.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tsegy Wagner on April 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
As a Mongolian myself who married to a "foreigner", living in "foreign" country and having a disabled child, this Uuganaa's book "Mongol" really captures almost everything what I experience. First, while I can speak with experience, she expresses well the feelings of parents of disabled child, who are strong not because of some great inner power, but because they have no other choice. There are many times when Uuganaa, with a few lines of dialogue, brings tears to your eyes by simply detailing the words parents when faced with such terrible fate. Second, along with the sad story she beautifully tells about the essence of our childhood in Mongolian countryside where the land of peace that remains with us into adulthood. I was picturing her and her parents "adventures" in foreign country with its totally different culture and it let me out an uncontrolled chuckle. Third, until I read her book I had no idea that some people still confuse about the old and misleading term of Down syndrome and use Mongoloid, Mong and Mongol with reference to Down's syndrome in informal English and used it to mean "idiot", "slow" or "stupid". I believe that the little Billy came into and gone from the world to give the voice to protest to misuse the word "Mongol" through his mother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Czerkawska on January 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
I've been catching up on a lot of reading over Christmas and - once started - I couldn't put this one down. I didn't quite know what to expect from it. I knew that it was a loving testament to the author's little boy, Billy. And I knew that it was also about her own childhood and upbringing in Mongolia - very different in so many ways from her life in Scotland. All I can say is that I wasn't disappointed. This is a beautifully constructed book, written with a refreshing directness and honesty. But it's an emotional book too - why wouldn't it be? - and it manages to intrigue, amuse and sadden all at the same time. Quite often I was in tears over it, but suddenly, there would be some wry and intelligent observation about cultural differences, and I'd be smiling again. This was particularly apposite for me, since my own father came from Europe's far eastern border and - although Uuganaa's background is very different - it still occurred to me from time to time that my father must have experienced a similar cultural disorientation now and then. So the book was doubly illuminating. And absolutely fascinating too in reminding me of how little we really know about the daily lives of other people. We have so much information - but so little real knowledge.
But this is, of course, much more than an account of one woman's journey across different cultures. Because it is also the story of the author's child, Billy, born with Down's Syndrome - and therefore it is a story of prejudice as well as love, of resilience in the face of ignorance - but also a story of hope, of common humanity, of kindness and the possibility of change. At a time when there seems to be a growing prejudice both against those with disability, and those we are content to label 'foreigners' this book should be required reading. A counterbalance. A new, moving and in the last analysis, heartwarming perspective.
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By Anu on May 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having spent a few years living in Mongolia (and being married to a Mongolian) I always have a difficult time trying to convey the flow and the feel of life there. Other books take a factual textbook approach to explaining it but Uuganaa has captured the true spirit of Mongolia. Her struggles to adapt to certain aspects of western culture were also wonderfully captured and left me with a smile as my husband faced many of the same challenges.

Interspersed with her childhood in Mongolia is her son Billy's story, which I won't lie is a sad one and had me in tears throughout the book. However, it was told in a way that was so filled with love and purpose that you are not left feeling sad for the Ramsay family, but rather sad that you did not get a chance to know Billy as well. It is a wonderful tribute to her son and is a comfort to me as both a mother and as a person who lost a beloved child in their life.

I have the kindle version of this book and have purchased the paperback as a gift and will no doubt be purchasing more in the future.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This beautifully written book opens a window into two worlds: the world of a young girl growing up in Mongolia and the world of loving parents dealing, in Glasgow, with the birth and death of a child with Down's Syndrome. This book is both fascinating and deeply moving.
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