Jung Chang was born in Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. During the Cultural Revolution, 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, and Mao: The Unknown Story (with Jon Halliday), which was described by Time as “an atom bomb of a book.