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2022 Pulitzer Prize for Illustrated Reporting and Commentary

“Through interviews and her United Nations Human Rights Council testimony, Zumrat Dawut tells her story of the events leading up to her incarceration in a Chinese prison in Ürümqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang region. Dawut and other Uyghurs from the region were being monitored by the government and punished for being Muslim. Dawut details the horrific treatment she and the other detainees received in prison…Readers will be haunted by the lack of humanity on the part of the Chinese government, sympathizing with Dawut’s circumstances as a woman and mother of three children. The illustrations are mainly grayscale, with red accents when the Chinese government is present and blue accents when Dawut is free; when Dawut’s family escapes China and steps off the plane in the U.S., the illustrations become full color. This is a short but powerful story initially published by the online newspaper Insider, where it won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Illustrated Reporting and Commentary.”

I Escaped a Chinese Internment Camp

Written by Anthony Del Col and Josh Adams
Illustrated by Fahmida Azim
Published by Lev Gleason

This graphic novella recounts the true story of Zumrat Dawut, as originally published in the independent online news organization, Business Insider, through interviews conducted by Anthony Del Col and testimony given to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Zumrat Dawut is a mother of three in the Xinjiang autonomous region in China, who was arrested and sent to a detention facility for simply being a Muslim. There, she endured brutal living conditions, torture, interrogations, anti-Muslim propaganda, and sterilization. But that was just the beginning of Zumrat’s troubles, who with her husband would soon hatch a plan to escape to America.

This story, featuring art by Golden Kit Award-Winner Fahmida Azim (Samira Surfs), and adapted by best-selling writer Anthony Del Col (Kill Shakespeare), was originally published online by Business Insider. This print edition, published by New Friday an imprint of Lev Gleason®, includes a foreword by Nicholas Carlson, Global Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider, an interview with the creative team, a follow-up interview with Zumrat Duwat, a teaching/discussion guide, and process art.

Primary ISBN:
Publication Date: February 2024
Available As: Paperback
Graphic Novel, Nonfiction, Age 15 or older

Community Represented: ,

Themes: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Setting: China (Ürümqi, East Turkistan, United States (Virginia)

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Refugee or Asylee

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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Profile of Zumrat Dawut