The Vine Basket
By Josanne La Valley
(Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780547848013, 256pp.)
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
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Mehrigul, 14, is a Uyghur, a tribal group scorned by the Chinese communist regime. Against obstacles that include her embittered father and her obligations to their farm, she has three weeks to make the baskets that will help her family and give her some hope for the future.
Josanne LaValley traveled across the Taklamakan Desert to the Hotan region of China, where she spent time among the Uyghur. The recipient of an MFA in writing children's books from Vermont College, Ms. LaValley lives in New York City. The Vine Basket is her first novel.
"In her debut novel, La Valley paints a memorable picture of this faraway people. . . . A haunting tale of artistic vision triumphing over adversity."