ICS Occasional Papers

Land, People and Faith: Wang Meng’s Narrative of Uyghur Life in Zhe bian fengjing

Zhe bian fengjing (Landscape) is one of the early writings of Wang Meng on the background of Xinjiang but the complete version of the novel saw the light of the day as late as 2013. The plot of the novel is based on the socio-political life of a Uyghur dominated people’s commune in Ili prefecture between 1962 and 1965. It was the most uncertain period in the history of Xinjiang when the region was going through the phase of revolutionary integration as well as coping with the consequences of Sino-Soviet rivalry. The paper throws light on the author’s life in the region as well as the narrative of the novel. It attempts to understand the relevance of the novel in the present form at a time when the Muslim minorities of Xinjiang are experiencing ruthless coercion, surveillance and repressive reeducation campaign under President Xi Jinping. 

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