Posted on September 15, 2022 at 1:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

A Uyghur novel has been translated into English for the first time.

Readers in the US and UK can now read The Backstreets, by Perhat Tursun, in their native tongue, reports The Economist (and shared with us via The Passive Voice).

It's the story of a Uyghur man hired to work in the capital of China's Xinjiang region because, he suspects, of diversity quotas.

Yet, as one might expect if one is familiar with the claims that China is imprisoning and torturing Uyghurs in that region, the narrator doesn't exactly enjoy his life in the big city.

(Tursun is believed to be among the Uyghurs imprisoned by Chinese authorities.)

Darren Byler, an anthropologist at Simon Fraser University in Canada, came across the Uyghur-language novel in 2014 and decided it needed to be made available in English.

You can read more about The Backstreets at The Passive Voice (or The Economist, if you have a subscription).

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