Lijia Zhang is a factory-worker-turned writer, columnist, social commentator, and public speaker. She was born into a poor worker’s family in Nanjing, on the banks of Yangtze River. At 16, she was taken out of school and put to work at a missile factory, where she taught herself English. Her articles have appeared in many international publications, including South China Morning Post, The Guardian, Newsweek, and The New York Times. She is the co-author of China Remembers, an oral history of the People’s Republic of China. Her memoir, Socialism Is Great!, about her decade-long experience working at the factory in the 1980’s, was first published in the U.S. in 2008 and has been translated into numerous languages around the world. She is a regular speaker on the BBC, Channel 4, CNN, and National Public Radio. She was a recipient of the prestigious fellowship for the International Writers’ Program at the University of Iowa in 2009. She lives in Beijing with her two daughters.

Last Updated: November 5, 2014

Conversation

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