Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongoliaby 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 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.
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 powerChris 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 extraordiOBSERVER
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 unsentimeTLS
- Time Warner UK
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- 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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