I am the traveler ...
Wandering around the world,
Finding my way home
Whether in snow or rain.
At sixteen, Roshen is pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher in the Uyghurs' desert homeland. The Uyghur people live with the harsh weather of northern China and the government's mistrust of their culture. They must be strong if their community is to survive.
Not until the local cadre summons Roshen, along with other Uyghur girls, to go away for a year to work in a factory is Roshen's own strength put to the test. Leaving her family, her schooling, and her beloved Ahmat is beyond painful, and her new life as a factory girl in the south of China is harder than she could have imagined. Deplorable conditions and contempt for the Uyghur workers make each day a new ordeal to overcome.
With every challenge comes the strength Roshen needs to face it and keep going—strength she didn't know she had. She didn't know she could be a leader, but the other Uyghur girls are turning to her for direction and for comfort. She's angrier than she has ever been, and she channels her anger into passionate resistance to injustice.
She will be a different Roshen when—and if—she finds her way home.
- Poem from The New Gypsy by Aziz Isa
“Factory Girl gives voice to young Uyghur women in all their struggle and heroism, just as Roshen plans to do at the end of her story. It will open readers' eyes to a startling reality that exists in the world they live in today. I hope it will open their hearts as well.”
- Mamatjan Juma, Uyghur Service Editor, Radio Free Asia
“A thought-provoking look at oppression and the power of words from a viewpoint not often heard.”
- Kirkus Reviews
Factory Girl availble January 2017 at: