Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
When Things Get Dark

When Things Get Dark

A Mongolian Winter's Tale

Matthew Davis

St. Martin's Press

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At 23, Matt Davis moved to a remote Mongolian town to teach English.What he found when he arrived was a town—and a country—undergoing wholesale change from a traditional, countryside existence to a more urban, modern identity. When Things Get Dark documents these changes through the Mongolians Matt meets, but also focuses on the author's downward spiral into alcohol abuse and violence--a scenario he saw played out by many of the Mongolian men around him. Matt's self-destruction culminates in a drunken fight with three men that forces him to a hospital to have his kidneys X-rayed. He hits bottom in that cold hospital room, his body naked and shivering, a bloodied Mongolian man staring at him from an open door, the irrational thought in his head that maybe he is going to die there. His personal struggles are balanced with insightful descriptions of customs and interactions, and interlaced with essays on Mongolian history and culture that make for a fascinating glimpse of a mysterious place and people.

EXCERPT

Prologue: The Stories I Learned
I LEARNED THREE winter stories in Mongolia. The ones the Mongolians told. The ones the foreigners told. And the ones I told myself.
The stories Mongolians told dealt with loss and rebirth. One begins with...

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About the author

Matthew Davis

MATTHEW DAVIS is a MFA graduate of the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program and currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. A chapter of When Things Get Dark has won the 2005 Atlantic Monthly prize in nonfiction and another chapter was a "notable essay" in the 2006 Best American Travel Writing series. Matt lives in Washington, D.C.

Matthew Davis

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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