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Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongolia
     

Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongolia

by Louisa Waugh
 
After two years of working in the Mongol capital, Ulaanbaatar, Louisa Waugh moved to a remote village called Tsengel, which lies in the extreme west of Mongolia. Hearing Birds Fly is her story of the year she spent there, living and working with the Tsengel people who have made a home in this stark but beautiful landscape. Louisa describes with unflinching honesty how

Overview

After two years of working in the Mongol capital, Ulaanbaatar, Louisa Waugh moved to a remote village called Tsengel, which lies in the extreme west of Mongolia. Hearing Birds Fly is her story of the year she spent there, living and working with the Tsengel people who have made a home in this stark but beautiful landscape. Louisa describes with unflinching honesty how she slowly learns to fend for herself in a world where life is dominated by the seasons. The village characters and their culture emerge vividly as she shares her happiness, her frustrations and her occasional extreme loneliness and fear. She transports the reader from the end of a long hard winter, through a drought-stricken spring and into a lush summer that she spends in the mountains beyond Tsengel with a family of nomads. Together they return to the village for the 'short golden season' that is Mongolia's autumn, where Louisa remains until the middle of the following winter. Hearing Birds Fly is a unique and totally unsentimental account of life in a world where the act of survival is in itself a triumph of the human spirit.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Tsengel is a remote village in the far west of Mongolia, 1000 miles over poor roads from the capital city of Ulan Bator. British journalist Waugh decided to spend a year there teaching English while living in a ger (yurt), eating monotonous basic food, and enduring dust storms, bitter cold, filthy and unhealthy conditions, and loneliness. She befriended Mongols, Tuvans, and Kazakhs and writes sympathetically of their simple, seminomadic lives. A good study of life in contemporary rural Mongolia, the book is also an account of the author's determination to test herself in this most hostile environment. Unfortunately, the text bogs down in Waugh's own considerable but self-induced discomforts. Still, with growing political and tourist interest in this little understood but vast region of central Asia, this book has a niche. For larger public libraries. Harold M. Otness, formerly with Southern Oregon Univ. Lib., Ashland Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
An elegy to a remarkable part of the world.—SUNDAY TIMES

With a skill and art quite extraordinary for a first book ... the reader is drawn into the world she describes through the warmth of her friendships and the sympathy and generosity with which she treats all aspects of her subject. I put the book down finally with a sense of absolute satisfaction, having spent the last few hours beneath the spell of a writer of real integrity and power—Chris Stewart

Waugh has captured the starkly beautiful landscapes in restrained descriptive passages, but the most fascinating aspect of her narrative is her portrayal of the villagers and the nomads she meets higher up the mountains... HEARING BIRDS FLY is an extraordi—OBSERVER

Her great strength is telling the villager s' stories, which she does with an engaging blend of charm, directness, humour and awe at the power of nature... It is a mark of Waugh's success that the romantic terra incognita she describes, helped by unsentime—TLS

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316861700
Publisher:
Time Warner UK
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
0.10(w) x 0.10(h) x 0.10(d)

Meet the Author

Louise Waugh has written for the GUARDIAN on Ulan Bator, and a 10-part series on Mongolia for the BBC World Service.

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