The Blue Sky


The Blue Sky

A Novel
“Book by book, Tschinag is championing his people and preserving their traditions. ” —SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
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In the high Altai Mountains of northern Mongolia, the nomadic Tuvan people’s ancient way of life collides with the pervasive influence of modernity as seen through the eyes of Dshurukawaa, a young shepherd boy.

This confrontation comes in stages. First his older siblings leave the family yurt to attend a distant boarding school. Then the boy’s grandmother dies, and with her the boy’s connection to the tribes. But perhaps the greatest tragedy strikes when his dog, Arsylang—“all that was left to me”—ingests poison set out by the boy’s father to protect his herd from wolves. “Why is it so?” Dshurukawaa cries out in despair to the Heavenly Blue Sky, but he is answered only by the silence of the wind.

Rooted in the oral traditions of the Tuvan people and their epics, the first novel in Galsan Tschinag’s saga—reissued as a Seedbank title—weaves the timeless story of a boy poised on the cusp of manhood with the tale of a people’s vanishing way of life.

adventure, altai, asia, Asian, change, childhood, coming of age, cultural, cultures, family, growing up, historical, Indigenous, loss, Mongolia, Mongolian, mountains, nomadic, nomads, novels, people, places, remote, shepherds, steppes, survival, traditional, tuvan, yurts
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5.5 × 8.5 × 0.56 in
8.5 oz
Galsan Tschinag

Galsan Tschinag, whose name in his native Tuvan language is Irgit Schynykbajoglu Dsurukuwaa, was born in the early thirties in Mongolia. He is the author of more than thirty books, and his work has been translated into many languages. Tschinag divides his time between Ulaanbataar, the High Altai, and Germany.


Katharina Rout is a literary translator of contemporary German-language fiction. She grew up in Germany and received a Ph.D. in German literature before moving to Canada, where she became a professor of English literature. 

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