3.8 (204 ratings by Goodreads)
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Mongol [mong-gohl], noun, 1. a member of a pastoral people now living chiefly in Mongolia. 2. (offensive) a person affected with Down's Syndrome. Uuganaa is a Mongol living in Britain, far from the world she grew up in: as a nomadic herder she lived in a yurt, eating marmot meat, distilling vodka from goat's yoghurt and learning about Comrade Lenin. When her new-born son Billy is diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, she finds herself facing bigotry and taboo as well as heartbreak. In this powerful memoir, Uuganaa skilfully interweaves the extraordinary story of her own childhood in Mongolia with the sadly short life of Billy, who becomes a symbol of union and disunion, cultures and complexity, stigma and superstition - and inspires Uuganaa to challenge prejudice. Mongol is the touching story of one woman's transformation from outsider to fearless champion of love, respect and tolerance. It's a moving tribute by a remarkable woman to her beloved baby son, testifying to his lasting impact on a sometimes imperfect world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 180 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 17mm | 186g
  • Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 map, 1 portrait
  • 1908643412
  • 9781908643414
  • 682,252

Review quote

'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.
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About Uuganaa Ramsay

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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Rating details

204 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 31% (64)
4 32% (66)
3 25% (50)
2 8% (17)
1 3% (7)

Our customer reviews

This book is two stories merged into one. Uuganaa tells of her childhood in Mongolia,herding sheep,living in a Ger and learning to distil vodka from yougurt.Her childhood was probably the complete opposite of being young in the UK but what came across was how loving it was and how close all her extended family were to each other.Uuganaa always wants to see the world and eventually she moves to the UK and meets her future husband,here the second story begins as when her third child is born the doctor tells her he has Downs Syndrome he then changes his mind and says he was confused because of her son's Mongolian features. Billy did indeed have Downs Sydrome and lost his fight for life at three months old. Uuganaa begins writing letters to Billy in a blog and to keep his memory alive she has written her memoir. This book is beautifully written and I love the way it starts and ends with her baby son Billy.You won't read this book without shedding a few tears but there are many lighthearted moments as we share Uuganaa's journey from one culture to another. The word Mongol is used by some people as a derogatory term and Uuganna is campaigning to try and stop this as she and everyone who lives in Mongolia are proud to be more
by Anne Mackle
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