Comprehensive Guide to Essential Mongolian Literature

Jan 20, 2024

Welcome to the ultimate literary journey through Mongolia, a land of vast steppes, rich history, and profound cultural heritage. At Mongol Mood, we're passionate about sharing the depth and beauty of Mongolian culture, and what better way to dive deep than through its literature? Here's a curated guide to must-read books that offer a window into the heart of Mongolia.

1. "The Secret History of the Mongols"

This ancient chronicle stands as a monumental work in Mongolian literature. It's not just a historical record; it's a narrative that weaves the very fabric of Mongolian identity. Written in the 13th century, it offers an unparalleled insight into the life and times of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the roots of Mongolian culture and history, this work is as enlightening as it is profound.

2. "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford

This groundbreaking work by Jack Weatherford sheds light on the global impact of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. It offers a revisionist view, highlighting Khan's role in shaping the modern world. The book delves into his policies, innovations, and the cultural and economic impacts of his empire. A fascinating read for those looking to understand how Mongolia influenced global history.

3. "The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire" by Jack Weatherford

Jack Weatherford, who gave us a profound look into the life of Genghis Khan, returns to explore another, often overlooked side of Mongolian history – the influential women of the Mongol Empire. In "The Secret History of the Mongol Queens," Weatherford uncovers the stories of Genghis Khan's daughters and granddaughters, who played critical roles in managing and sustaining the vast Mongol Empire. This book not only highlights the importance of women in Mongolian history but also challenges the traditional narratives of power and leadership. It's an enlightening read that offers a nuanced perspective on the role of women in the shaping of one of the world's largest empires.

4. "The Blue Sky" by Galsan Tschinag

Galsan Tschinag, a writer from the Tuva tribe in Mongolia, brings us a touching story set in the Altai Mountains. "The Blue Sky" transports readers into the heart of nomadic life, offering a vivid portrayal of their traditions, beliefs, and deep connection with nature. It's a poetic and intimate look at a way of life that has persisted through centuries, providing invaluable insights into the soul of Mongolian nomadic culture.

5. "The Green-Eyed Lama" by Oyungerel Tsedevdamba and Jeff Falt

Set in the transformative period of the 1930s, this novel offers a unique perspective on Mongolian society during a time of significant social and political upheaval. It's a captivating tale that intertwines love, tradition, and change, reflecting the complexities and resilience of the Mongolian spirit. This book is a must-read for those interested in the modern history of Mongolia and the evolution of its societal fabric.

6. "Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongolia" by Louisa Waugh

Louisa Waugh's captivating travelogue provides a fresh, outsider's perspective on contemporary Mongolian rural life. Her account of a year spent in a remote village offers a raw and unfiltered look at the joys and challenges of nomadic living. This book is an ode to the beauty of the Mongolian landscape and the enduring strength of its people.