Singapore, 17 June 2019: Penguin Random House SEA announces the acquisition of the first and only authorized biography of the current President of Mongolia, Battulga Khaltmaa. Titled Battulga, Whom I Know, this rare account has been authored by award-winning Mongolian filmmaker and scriptwriter D Turmunkh, who is a close ally of the President. The publishing house has also acquired Turmunkh’s own personal story entitled Sankara, about his life during the transformation of the state of society. Both books will be published by the end of 2019. This is the first time Penguin Random House SEA is publishing books from Mongolia, and bringing them to the rest of the world.

Penned from the point of view of a close personal friend, In Battulga, Whom I Know, the author gives the readers a gripping tell all about the businessman turned politician. This book is an insider’s view into President Battulga’s life experiences, philosophy, successes and failures. The narrative unfolds many parts of his life; the decisions he made that changed the face and fate of the country, and his vision for the future.

President Battulga Khaltmaa’s story is eclectic and inspiring as it chronicles his life from sewing jeans and working in retail to winning the world championship in Sambo wrestling, and eventually maturing into an eminent businessperson known throughout the country. Since then, he was elected to the parliament three times, serving as Minister for Road and Transportation, as well as Minister for Industry and Agriculture. He led the Mongolian Democratic Union and became President of the Mongolian Judo Wrestling Association. He also exerted substantive effort to become the first World Judo Champion born in Mongolia.

President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa says, ‘As the head of state of Mongolia, I am fully satisfied that Penguin Random House SEA signed an agreement to publish the books of a Mongolian author for the first time to a worldwide audience. I hope to see more Mongolian authors to follow this path in the future. Also, I would like to wish great success to the author with his creative writing.’

Author D Turmunkh says, ‘People of Mongolia have an extensive, rich history of literature. I am extremely happy to be one of its Southeast Asia representatives to international readers through the collaboration with Penguin Random House to publish two of my books. Both of these books are more documentary storytelling about stereotypes of Mongolians during a social transition period, than just storytelling about two individuals. Therefore, I hope they will help the worldwide audience to understand more about Mongolians.’

D Turmunkh is an award-winning filmmaker and his movie, State of Dogs, released in 1998, received numerous international awards. He has since released two more movies to complete the trilogy. He is also a programme director with Mongolian TV, scriptwriter, producer and founder of the independent production company Tobch Toli Prods.

Nora Nazerene Abu Bakar, executive editor, Penguin Random House SEA, says, ‘Battulga, Whom I Know is a result of heartfelt hard work—a friend telling his friend’s story. The book is rich with exclusive interviews, events that our author witnessed and many facts and anecdotes. Full of great stories, this book will give readers a better understanding of the character of the man who built the gigantic statue of Chinggis Khan on horseback and initiated an eco-town named Great Maitra. I am very excited to work with D Turmunkh, a talented storyteller who is passionately showcasing Mongolia to the world, and I am happy to be able to share his stories from the region with the rest of Southeast Asia.”

Gaurav Shrinagesh, CEO, Penguin Random House India and SEA, says, ‘Penguin Random House SEA is proud to publish the authorized biography of President Khaltmaa Battulga. The President has led a life less ordinary, and his story is a valuable addition to our growing repertoire in Southeast Asia. To the world, who see Mongolia as far and mysterious, it is the art and literature from the region that continues to open people’s minds to stories of the people and the land’


About Penguin Random House SEA
Penguin Random House SEA was established in 2018 to discover and publish local and international voices across English-language adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction formats for Singapore and Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, and Myanmar. As part of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, the newly established company is also dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers. Headquartered in Singapore, Penguin Random House SEA will bring the spotlight on local authors from the region and simultaneously open the Southeast Asian market to diverse international titles. In its first year of operations, the publishing house is bringing stories from across the region and publishing authors such as children’s writer Eva Wong from Singapore, Malaysian novelist Tunku Halim, award winning author and journalist from Philippines Criselda Yabes, Indonesian poet, essayist, and award-winning novelist and food writer Lakshmi Pamuntjak and author and journalist Akshita Nanda from Singapore, to name a few.

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Pallavi Narayan
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