was born in Yibin, Sichuan
Province, China, in 1952. She
was a Red Guard briefly at the
age of fourteen and then worked
as a peasant, a "barefoot
doctor," (A lay health care
worker who received 3-6 months
training in basic medical
a steelworker, and an
electrician before becoming an
English-language student and,
later, an assistant lecturer at
She left China for Britain in 1978 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by York University, where she obtained a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1982, the first person from the People's Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university.
Her award-winning memoir Wild Swans, was published in 1991.
Jon Halliday is a former Senior Visiting Research Fellow at King's College, University of London. He has written or edited eight previous books.
Halliday and Chang are married.
Did you know?
Controversy: Mao was widely lauded by critics (most of who are not Sino-experts) when first published in 2005. However, it was not long before adverse comments began to surface from some quarters. One critic was Columbian professor Andrew Nathan, who wrote a lengthy article in the London Review of Books in which he says, "many of their discoveries come from sources that cannot be checked, others are openly speculative or are based on circumstantial evidence, and some are untrue". You can read the full article by clicking the link above.
This article was originally published in October 2005, and has been updated for the
November 2006 paperback release.
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