Jung Chang was born in Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) she worked as a red guard, 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 (a best selling memoir of her life), Mao: The Unknown Story and Three Daughters of China. Her latest book published in 2013 is Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China. Jung’s view is that the 19th century Empress was a moderniser who espoused women’s liberation, looked to the west and fundamentally changed China for the better. Jung considers herself a radical but not an extremist.
Her mother lives in China, along with a brother and sister and while Jung cares deeply what happens there, she sees London as her home, and appreciates people “being nice to each other.”
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