The Cave of the Yellow Dog
The book is short, 137 pages including a glossary, and contains lots of wonderful photographs of their subjects, bearing witness to the richness of the nomadic life. It was written as an extension of Davaa and Reisch filming one family of Mongolian nomads and follows the same narrative. As such, the flow is uneven and jumps from "scene" to "scene", attempting to tell the family's story through their daughter Nansaa and her dog Zochor. The content is fascinating, a door opening on a culture I knew nothing about; two cultures really as Davaa also shares some of her memories of growing up a city girl in Ulaanbaatar, quite a different experience to that of her nomadic compatriots.
As both women are in the business of storytelling, I was disappointed that there wasn't more detailed exploration of Mongolian life generally though Davaa teases with glimpses such as the fact that by 1989 Mongolia had a literacy rate of almost 100%. The book was an excellent first step in discovering something of the way of life of the Mongolian nomads and a little of the country as a whole but I was left wanting more.