Jung Chang: Biography

Jung Chang

25 mar 1952

In addition to being praised as a distinguished author with lots of awards in her kitty, Jung Chang is also the first person from communist China to receive a doctorate from a British University. She received a PhD in Linguistics in 1982 from the University of York.

Jung Chang was born in the Sichuan Province, China on 25 Mar, 1952. While in China, Jung Chang did various jobs at the time of Cultural Revolution before joining the Sichuan University for her studies. She worked as a Peasant, a ‘barefoot’ doctor, a steel worker and an electrician. She left China and went to Britain in 1978 for her higher studies.

Jung Chung was widely recognised as an author and she came to limelight through her book, ‘Wild Swans’. This book narrates 100 years of Chinese history through the eyes of three women – her grandmother, her mother and her. ‘Wild Swans’ rolled out to be the highest selling non-fiction paperback book ever published and got translated into 37 languages.

Although the book, ‘Wild Swans’ was banned in China, it established Jung Chang as the spokesperson of 20th century China and according to the Asian Wall Street Journal, this book was named the most read book about China. Another work of Chang named, ‘Mao: The Unknown Story’ was called ‘an atom bomb of a book’.

Jung Chang was felicitated with doctorates by a number of Universities. She has won enormous awards including the UK Writers Guild Best Non Fiction and Book of the Year UK. Her latest book, ‘Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China’ was a New York Times notable book.

Still looking young at the age of 61, Jung Chang has remained in Britain for almost 35 years now. Living with her husband the historian Jon Halliday, Jung Chang has the credit of selling more than 15 million copies of her works which were translated into more than 40 languages.