Ah, now, this is good news. The Nergui series is shortly to be made available in Kindle editions from those good people at Quercus. The Shadow Walker, The Adversary and The Outcast will all be published on 15 May.
Archive for the ‘Mongolia’ Category
I posted recently about the exciting news that, thanks to the effort and enterprise of the translator, Tsatsral Baatar, a Mongolian edition of The Shadow Walker was due for publication. Well, it’s now appeared and Tsatsral has been good enough to forward me a copy all the way from Ulaan Bataar. Tsatsral has been responsible not only for translating the book, but also for overseeing its publication, and she’s done an absolutely terrific job. It’s beautifully produced and I hope will look suitably enticing in the bookshops of Ulaan Bataar. All I can do is to thank Tsatsral and wish her every success with the publication.
Well, here’s some exciting news. A few months ago, I was contacted by Tsatsral Baatar, a writer and translator based in Ulaan Bataar. Tsatsral had been in touch with me previously, a couple of years ago, to conduct an e-mail interview with me for a Mongolian newspaper. In the intervening period, she had completed an MA in English at Delhi University and now was building a career as a literary translator. She had also had an opportunity to read The Shadow Walker in English and was now seeking my agreement to translate the book into Mongolian. She commented, interestingly, that although the book was originally published in 2006, many of its themes seemed even more topical today.
You won’t be surprised to hear that I gave permission pretty much straightaway. The outcome of all this is that Tsatsral has now completed the translation and the book is due to be published in Mongolia in the next few weeks. I’m delighted to find that, as an outsider writing about a very different country and its culture, I didn’t get it completely wrong! Tsatsral has promised to send over a copy of the book – I can’t wait to see it. In the meantime, I wish her every success with the publication.
I haven’t posted about Mongolia for a while, so I thought I ought to draw your attention to the slightly startling news that ‘Mongolia’s Got Talent’ is now airing on television there. Perhaps inevitably, the programme is given something of a Mongolian, um, spin.
On a more serious note, I was interested both by Madeleine Albright’s assessment of Mongolia as a ‘model nation’, and by this perhaps more disturbing story from the UB Post. All Albright says, all democracies face challenges.
It occurs to me that I haven’t posted much about Mongolia for a while (and, yes, I know I haven’t posted about much else either in the last few weeks. I’ve had every good intention, but a shortage of time. I’ll try to rectify that…). I thought I ought to draw your attention to this excellent piece in today’s Guardian which focuses mainly on the extraordinary ger encampment to the north of Ulaan Bataar. I was aware of the growing size of the camp, but I hadn’t realised that it’s now home to around a quarter of the country’s population. The article brings home the dramatic impact of climate change and challenging economic conditions for many Mongolians.
When travel writers can’t think what else to say about a country, they usually resort to the cliche ‘land of contrasts’ (if you doubt this, try Googling the phrase – you’ll find it applied to everywhere from Germany to Namibia). I think it’s probably an apposite description, though, when one compares the piece from the Guardian with this article.
Genghis Khan seems to have been a pioneer in many fields – empire-building, taxation, structured government. And now we learn, courtesy of the Carnegie Institute’s Department of Global Ecology, that he might have been responsible, in a grisly fashion, for the first instance of man-made climate change.
This intriguing story seems, even more intriguingly, to have slipped almost entirely beneath the radar in the UK. I’ve seen mention of it only in the Independent newspaper although it’s also received limited coverage in the overseas media. I’ll be keeping my eye out for more…
I wrote in The Outcast about Mongolia’s uneasy relationship with China, and from time to time I’ve also blogged about the rise in extreme nationalism in Mongolia. In The Guardian yesterday, Tania Branigan wrote very interestingly about the links between these two phenomena. It’s difficult to know how seriously to take this. It’s certainly not easy to take seriously the individual, quoted by Branigan, who says of Adolf Hitler: “We don’t agree with his extremism and starting the second world war. We are against all those killings, but we support his ideology. We support nationalism rather than fascism”. Damian Thompson, picking up on Branigan’s article, writes thoughtfully on the Daily Telegraph‘s website about the growth in ‘Nazi chic’, and concludes by wondering whether Nazi imagery is being ‘trivialised’ by its adoption as a supposedly chic brand and, if so, whether that’s necessarily a bad thing. I don’t know, but I’d suggest that anyone who thinks Nazism is chic should perhaps read some history. Or, if that’s too much trouble, have a listen to this performance of Pete Atkin and Clive James’s extraordinary song ‘Hill of Little Shoes’ performed by Coope Boyes and Simpson.
While the world of sumo is being rocked by takes of scandal and corruption, I’m pleased to see that the Mongolian former champion, the tremendous Asashoryu – himself no stranger to the attentions of the tabloid press – has taken time out to throw his not-inconsiderable weight behind Argentina in the World Cup. This is perhaps not so surprising as Asashoryu has previously been dubbed the ‘Maradona of Sumo’ (although these days Maradona arguably looks more like the Asashoryu of football). But I’m sure the team will welcome the endorsement ahead of this afternoon’s clash with Germany.
I wrote in The Outcast about some aspects of the often uneasy relationship between Mongolia and China. Here’s an interesting piece which explores that relationship in some detail, highlighting in particular the worrying growth of a rather unpleasant streak of Mongolian nationalism.