All This Belongs to Me
by Petra Hulova, Alex Zucker
Alta, Zaya, Nara, Oyuna and Dolgorna - a mother, three sisters, and the teenage daughter of one of the sisters - each tell their pieces of the family story, an epic fraught with secrets and betrayals, in All This Belongs to Me, the debut novel of Petra Hulova. All This Belongs to Me transports the reader from Mongolia's harsh, dusty steppe to the clamor and grime of the capital, Ulaanbantar; from nomanic herding and felt tents to brothels and prefab apartment blocks. With a filmic eye and a dead-on ear, Hulova vividly conveys the landscapes and lives of three generations of women. Two of the sisters, born illegitimately of their mother's clandestine affairs with foreigners - one Chinese, one Russian - struggle with the stigma of being half-breeds, while the strict division of male and female labor and social roles plays out in the city and country alike, with devastating consequences.