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Stone is Most Precious Where It Belongs

Gulchehra Hoja

A powerful and urgent memoir of loss, exile and hope by Uyghur activist Gulchehra Hoja

'This gripping memoir conveys the courage and cost of telling a truer story' Guardian Book of the Day


'Revelatory ... The particulars of her story speak for the losses of a people' Sunday Telegraph


'Essential reading' Financial Times

In February 2018, twenty-four members of Uyghur journalist Gulchehra Hoja's family were arrested by the Chinese state as a direct retaliation for her investigations into Chinese oppression of the Uyghur people.

Hoja grew up with her people's culture and history running through her veins. As a young woman, she became a star presenter on Chinese state television, but then she began to understand what China was doing to her people, as well as her own complicity as a journalist. When her rising fame and growing political awakening coincided, she made it her mission, despite the personal cost, to expose the crimes Beijing continues to commit in the far reaches of its nation.

'A memoir of an extraordinary life, which takes in the past 50 years of Xinjiang's history. This story is normally told with statistics, but she illuminates it with the all-important details' The Times

'A deeply moving page turner' Michael Portillo


'Pulses with energy and beauty, making us care about what is being erased at mass scale by telling a deeply personal tale' Sunday Telegraph


'A textured story of how Uyghurs tried to survive and subvert Chinese cruelty' The Economist

  • Classification : BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
  • Pub Date : MAR 7, 2024
  • Imprint : Virago
  • Page Extent : 320
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9780349015989
  • Price : INR 699
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Gulchehra Hoja

Gulchehra Hoja is a Uyghur journalist based in Washington, DC and one of the world's most prominent voices fighting what the US government in January 2021 officially proclaimed the 'genocide and crimes against humanity' against the Uyghurs. Her reporting on the situation in Xinjiang - which led to the incarceration of her entire extended family - has been widely recognized in the US and Europe, and has led to honours such as the 2019 Magnitsky Human Rights Award; the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation in 2020; her recognition as one of the '500 most influential Muslims' in the world every year since 2016; and platforms at Tina Brown's Women in the World summit and the Oslo Freedom Forum. She has been profiled for the Washington Post and Financial Times, among many other publications. Working closely with larger publications such as the New York Times and Guardian, as well as directly with the State Department, she has also been central to bringing to light both the stories of escapees from East Turkestan's concentration camps, and exposing China's use of Uyghurs for forced labour in their cotton and wig-making industries.

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