A Stone is Most Precious Where it Belongs


A Memoir of Uyghur Loss, Exile and Hope
by Hoja, Gulchehra | Non-fiction, memoir
Hardback | 320 pages

SKU: '9780349015958 Categories: , , ,


A Memoir of Uyghur Loss, Exile and Hope
by Hoja, Gulchehra | Non-fiction, memoir
Published on 21/02/2023 by Virago Press Ltd
Hardback | 320 pages

‘This gripping memoir shows the courage and cost of telling a truer story’ GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE DAY
‘A memoir of an extraordinary life, which takes in the past 50 years of Xinjiang’s history … fascinating’ THE TIMES

A powerful and urgent memoir by Uyghur activist Gulchehra Hoja – a remarkable woman who went from being a beloved star on Chinese children’s TV to a journalist whose reporting on the oppression of her people led to her entire extended family being imprisoned. In 2018, twenty-four members of Gulchehra Hoja’s family, including her elderly parents, were arrested by the Chinese state.

Gulchehra had been forced to leave her family behind when she fled to a new life in the United States, and the arrests were an act of retaliation against her investigations for Radio Free Asia into the plight of the Uyghur people. For the Uyghurs, this kind of oppression is not unusual. In her stunning memoir, Gulchehra shares her story: an account of life under Chinese rule in East Turkestan, and her journey to becoming a spokesperson against genocide.

The grandchild of a musician and the daughter of an archaeologist, Gulchehra grew up with Uyghur culture and history running through her veins. She showed her gifts early on as a dancer, actress and storyteller, and she became a major television star. But she began to understand what China was doing to her people, as well as her own complicity as a journalist.

As her growing fame and political awakening coincided, she made it her mission to expose the crimes Beijing is committing against its own citizens. Filled with the beauty of East Turkestan and its people, A Stone is Most Precious Where it Belongs is the story of a woman who has been willing to risk her own life to expose the truth.

‘A deeply moving page turner’ MICHAEL PORTILLO
‘This revelatory memoir pulses with energy and beauty, making us care about what is being erased at mass scale by telling a deeply personal tale … Her account is not just timely but timeless … Hoja is a brave woman. The particulars of her story speak for the losses of a people’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

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