The Land Drenched in Tears

By Söyüngül Chanisheff
Translated by Rahima Mahmut
Edited by Iskender Ding, Gareth Stamp



The Land Drenched in Tears is a moving history of the tumultuous years of modern China under Mao’s rule, witnessed, experienced, and told through the personal lens of an ethnic minority woman, who endured nearly 20 years imprisonment and surveillance regime as a result of her political activism in Xinjiang, or East Turkistan, located in the far west of China.

Writing her autobiography as an extraordinary melange of diary and memoir, which oscillates between first-hand narrative and flashback, the author, Söyüngül Chanisheff, traces her unfortunate youth from her university years, when she founded the East Turkistan People’s Party as a result of her anger and frustration with communist China’s devastating mishandling of the socio-economic life of the people of her native land, through her subsequent imprisonment in China’s notorious labour camps as well as under the surveillance regime, to her emigration to Australia.

Chanisheff’s autobiography is a rare, detailed, and authentic account of one of the most poignant and most fascinating periods of modern China. It is a microcosmic reflection of the communist regime’s tragic realities presented through the suffering and hope of a young woman who tied her fate to that of her beloved homeland.


The book can be bought online!


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