Jung Chang 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 steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English language student and, later, an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. 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. Jung Chang lives in London and teaches the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University.
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