I chose this title, Memoirs of a Mongol without a Pony, to represent the letter Q for quandary because of the title and cover photo. 

Mongol is an outdated term considered offensive when used to describe Down syndrome:

“The condition was originally called “Mongolism.” This term dates back to the 1860s when British doctor John Langdon Downfirst described the disorder.

In 1866, Down published the academic paper, “Observations on an ethnic classification of idiots,” claiming that it was possible to categorize different types of conditions by ethnic classifications. He thought that people with this disorder shared facial features with people of Mongolian ethnicityethnicity,” so he named it “Mongolism.” Down further believed that this condition was a reversion to an inferior race “race.” The term soon became offensive because it was racially charged, implying that Mongolian people were inferior.

In 1965, the World Health Organization finally withdrew the name after a request by a delegation from the Mongolian People’s Republic who wanted to reclaim the name of their native people. The condition was re-named Down syndrome, after John Langdon Down, while “Trisomy 21” is also used. (“Down’s Syndrome” is still used in the UK.) ” – from Psychology Today

The author addresses the political incorrectness in the introduction, but doesn’t really say why he uses the term. He also warns about the prolific cursing that is used throughout the story telling readers: “I am not apologizing for my cuss words and if they offend you, tough shit don’t read the book. Fair warning.”

It is this type of humor that propels the story throughout the 328 pages. The story is told from Shane’s point of view- as told to his father R.G. Stern.

Personally, I would change the cover photo as well as the title; to something that looks a little less illegal. [But it’s Shane’s story, not mine.] 

If you can overlook these initial affronts to sensibility, the stories are funny. 

Find it on 

and in paperback


Be sure to check out the other titles featured here this month for the A to Z Blogging Challenge and view the whole collection here:   Adult Fiction and Memoir on StoryClub  and children’s books and YA here on The Road.
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2 thoughts on “Quandary – Memoirs of a Mongol without a Pony – A to Z Blogging Challenge

  1. You have an interesting theme for the A/Z Challenge. And I read about your organization. A worthy one indeed. I do remember when Down syndrome was referred to as mongolism. I am so glad the name got changed to Down syndrome or Trisomy 21. I have a 43 year old nephew with Down syndrome. He still lives at home with his parents but he is very independent. He is active in the church they attend, stuffs bulletins (gets paid for it) for the services and knows and understands more scripture than a lot of people. Before Covid, he and his parents went on cruises a lot and he was a hit at karaoke.


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