Thursday, July 8, 2021

Showcase- Suncranes and Other Stories Translated by Simon Wickhamsmith

Today I'm so happy to be bringing you another wonderful offering from Columbia University Press, Suncranes, a collection of modern Mongolian short stories.

ISBN-13:  9780231196772
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 7-6-2021
Length: 296pp

Buy It: Publisher/Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound



Over the course of the twentieth century, Mongolian life was transformed, as a land of nomadic communities encountered first socialism and then capitalism and their promises of new societies. The stories collected in this anthology offer literary snapshots of Mongolian life throughout this tumult. Suncranes and Other Stories showcases a range of powerful voices and their vivid portraits of nomads, revolution, and the endless steppe.

Spanning the years following the socialist revolution of 1921 through the early twenty-first century, these stories from the country’s most highly regarded prose writers show how Mongolian culture has forged links between the traditional and the modern. Writers employ a wide range of styles, from Aesopian fables through socialist realism to more experimental forms, influenced by folktales and epics as well as Western prose models. They depict the drama of a nomadic population struggling to understand a new approach to life imposed by a foreign power while at the same time benefiting from reforms, whether in the capital city Ulaanbaatar or on the steppe. Across the mix of stories, Mongolia’s majestic landscape and the people’s deep connection to it come through vividly. For all English-speaking readers curious about Mongolia’s people and culture, Simon Wickhamsmith’s translations make available this captivating literary tradition and its rich portrayals of the natural and social worlds.


A Note on Mongolian Names
1. Something Wonderful, by S. Buyannemeh
2. The Shelducks, by D. Chimid
3. Dark Cliffs, by D. Natsagdorj
4. Things That Had Never Been Seen, by D. Natsagdorj
5. The Young Couple, by M. Yadamsüren
6. What Changed Soli, by Ts. Damdinsüren
7. Two White Things, by Ts. Damdinsüren
8. The Morning of the First, by Ts. Ulambayar
9. The Saiga, by Ch. Lodoidamba
10. A Great Mystery, by O. Tsend
11. Bunia Takes Wing, by B. Rinchen
12. Waiting for What He Has Lost, by D. Namdag
13. The Green-painted Car, by Ts. Ulambayar
14. Images from a Single Day, by B. Baast
15. Blue as Water, by P. Luvsantseren
16. He Came with a Spare Horse, by S. Udval
17. Suncranes, by S. Erdene
18. The Cricket, by S. Dashdoorov
19. The Wolf’s Lair, by D. Garmaa
20. The Ballad of the Unweaned Camel, by G. Mend-Ooyo
21. Hulan, by S. Erdene
22. Heaven’s Daughter, by Ch. Galsan
23. Raul and Raul, by L. Ölziitögs
24. Everything, by S. Anudar
25. Room for Rent, by H. Bolor-Erdene
26. Wings, by P. Bathuyag
27. The Composer, by M. Uyansüh
Notes on the Stories


Simon Wickhamsmith’s masterful translations provide a unique window on how Mongolian writers have responded to events shaping the country over the last century—ranging from extreme communism to extreme capitalism—while also retaining a strong sense for enduring Mongolian traditions shaped by pastoral nomadism and a magnificent countryside.Jonathan S. Addleton, former U.S. ambassador to Mongolia

Suncranes and Other Stories is an important collection of modern Mongolian writing. Deftly translated, it opens a door on a body of literature that reflects the lives and realities of Mongolia in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.Mark Bender, editor of The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry

This excellent first collection of modern Mongolian stories offers a view of traditional concerns of nature and herding, as well as the dramatic changes wrought by communism, the pure market economy, and urbanization. Wickhamsmith’s translations provide readers with wondrous fiction as well as exposure to Mongolian customs and landscapes.Morris Rossabi, author of Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists

About the author:
Simon Wickhamsmith
teaches in the writing and Asian studies programs at Rutgers University. He is the translator of Tseveendorjin Oidov’s The End of the Dark Era (2015).