The Blue Sky
By Galsan Tschinag
(Milkweed Editions, Paperback, 9781571310644, 224pp.)
Publication Date: November 2007
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In the Altai Mountains of northern Mongolia, the nomadic Tuvan people’s ancient way of life is colliding with the relentless influence of the modern world. For a young shepherd boy, the confrontation comes in stages. First, his older siblings leave to attend a distant boarding school. Then, his beloved grandmother dies, taking with her a profound link to the tribe’s traditions and their connection to the land. But the cruelest blow is struck when his dog all that was left to me” dies after eating poison the boy’s father set out to protect the herd from wolves. In despair, he begs the Heavenly Blue Sky for answers, but is met with only the mute wind. Tschinag, the first and only member of the Tuvan to use a written language to tell stories, weaves a lyrical account of his people and their traditions.