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Jiang in 2014.
February 2, 1954 |
|Occupation||Science teacher, writer|
|Education||Shanghai Teacher's College|
|Alma mater||Shanghai University
University of Hawaii
|Notable works||Red Scarf Girl|
Ji-li Jiang (Jiang Ji-li) (born February 2, 1954) is an author. She is most famous for the memoir, Red Scarf Girl, as well as The Magical Monkey King. She grew up and lived in Shanghai, China in a large apartment with her family.
Jiang lived in a large apartment with a large bathroom. At this period of time, many other people did not have large apartments such as hers, classifying her as part of the upper class during the Cultural Revolution. During this time period, she lived with her father Jiang Xi-reng, her mother Ying-Chen, her brother Ji-yong, her sister Ji-yun and her grandmother for a very short period of time. Her housekeeper, Song Po-po, also lived with them. Jiang was a star student until 1966, when Chairman Mao started the Cultural Revolution. When she was 13, her father was falsely accused of counter-revolutionary crimes and was detained and forced to do hard labor by the Chinese government. Jiang was humiliated by her peers at school who blamed her for her family's "black", or "anticommunist" past and prevented her from becoming a Red Successor, a person who would be appointed as a Red Guard when they are old enough.
When the Revolution ended, Jiang, later followed by most of her family, moved to Hawaii. In 1998, Red Scarf Girl, a memoir of her life during the Cultural Revolution, was published and garnered a number of awards. Following the success of Red Scarf Girl, Jiang continued writing books, notably The Magical Monkey King, a retelling of a traditional Chinese tale about the beginning of the trickster Monkey King's journey.
Jiang graduated from Shanghai Teacher's College and Shanghai University before moving to Hawaii in 1984. She graduated from the University of Hawaii and began working as an operations analyst for a hotel chain. Jiang became a budget director for a healthcare company in Chicago. In 1992, Jiang co-founded East West Exchange, promoting cultural exchange between western countries and China. In 2003, she started a nonprofit organization, Cultural Exchange International to continue and expand the cultural exchanges between the U.S., and Western countries. Jiang currently resides in the Seattle area.
Red Scarf Girl
Red Scarf Girl is a memoir written by Jiang about the Cultural Revolution from a "black" family's point of view. It depicts her teenage years during the Cultural Revolution, and the humiliation her family suffered because Jiang's late grandfather had been a landlord, therefore labeling her family "black" (the opposite of "Red," the color of Communism). Red Scarf Girl was published in 1998. This is Jiang's most known piece of writing. In writing her memoir, her goal was to expand the literature connections between China and the United States. She later stated that her release of Red Scarf Girl was to help with these connections. The book has come under fire from pro-communist groups for being anti-communistic and over exaggerated from what actually happened.