BIPOC Women: Li Juan

26Sep2022

Book club discussion of Li's journey with China's Kazakh herders

From 6.30 pm until 7.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Winter Pasture: One Woman's Journey with China's Kazakh Herders by Li Juan

Li Juan and her mother own a small convenience store in the Altai Mountains in Northwestern China, where she writes about her life among grasslands and snowy peaks. Encouraged by her neighbors, Li decides to join a family of Kazakh herders as they take their 30 boisterous camels, 500 sheep and over 100 cattle and horses to pasture for the winter. The so-called "winter pasture" occurs in a remote region that stretches from the Ulungur River to the Heavenly Mountains. Li vividly captures both the extraordinary hardships and the ordinary preoccupations of the day-to-day of the men and women struggling to get by in this desolate landscape. Her companions include Cuma, the often drunk but mostly responsible father; his teenage daughter, Kama, who feels the burden of the world on her shoulders and dreams of going to college; his reticent wife, a paragon of decorum against all odds, who is simply known as "sister-in-law."

In bringing this faraway world to English language readers here for the first time, Li creates an intimate bond with the rugged people, the remote places and the nomadic lifestyle.

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