NEW YORK, November 12, 2013 - Historian Jung Chang discussess her revisionist new biography of China's Empress Cixi (1835-1908) in a talk with Orville Schell, Director of Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations. (1 hr., 13 min.)
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. She is the author of the bestselling 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). Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 15 million copies, in addition to millions in pirated editions and computer downloads in 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 has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Buckingham, York and Warwick, the Open University, UK, and Bowdoin College, USA.
Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, is an author, journalist, and former Dean and Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written widely for many magazine and newspapers, including the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, Time, the New Republic, Harpers, the Nation, the New York Review of Books, Wired, Foreign Affairs, the China Quarterly, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Schell is a Fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at USC and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.