The Green Eyed Lama by Oyungerel Tsedevdamba and Jeffrey L Falt

a nutshell: beginning in 1938 and based on a true story, this novel follows a horrifying purge inflicted by Mongolia’s communist government under Soviet orders – intertwined with a complicated love story between a herdswoman and a lama

a line: “Believe me, ideas are far more powerful than guns and trucks”

an image: I was particularly moved by Davaa’s dream-state sequence as he goes to face his death – the green valley, tall meadow flowers, rainbows, his grandson, his daughter, and finally his beloved wife outside a white ger making milk-vodka

a thought: a lingering observation for me was an elderly herdswoman’s remark about the arbitrariness of borders while they were being forced to relocate after the military’s successful attack against the Japanese – the invisible lines demarcating one country from the next had been of no importance to her & her granddaughter until now

a fact: this was the first Mongolian novel to be published in the West, and the author writes that she had dreamt for years of writing the stories of her ancestors – the book ends with many pages listing those who were killed and the characters are in fact referred to by their real names

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