Jung Chang Biography

Jung Chang (張戎 /张戎) was born in Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) she worked as a peasant, a ‘barefoot’ doctor, a steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English-language student at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 and obtained a PhD in Linguistics in 1982 at the University of York – the first person from Communist China to receive a doctorate from a British university.

Jung Chang is the author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (which the Asian Wall Street Journal called the most read book about China), and Mao: The Unknown Story (with Jon Halliday), which was described by Time as “an atom bomb of a book.” Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 15 million copies, outside mainland China where both books are banned. Among the many awards she has won are the UK Writers’ Guild Best Non-Fiction (1992) and Book of the Year UK (1993). Jung Chang’s latest book Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China, was published in 2013 and was a New York Times notable book.  It won the 2014 Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award (non-fiction).

Jung Chang has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of:
the Open University (UK), and
Bowdoin College (USA).

Jung Chang
Photograph: Jon Halliday
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