Lijia Zhang

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Lijia Zhang
Born (1964-05-01) May 1, 1964 (age 55)
Nanjing, China
OccupationWriter, journalist, public speaker
EducationGoldsmiths College (MA)
Period1999 – present
Literary movementmemoir
Notable works'Socialism is Great!': A Worker's Memoir of the New China

Lijia Zhang or Zhang Lijia (born in May 1, 1964 in Nanjing) is a writer, journalist and public speaker. She describes herself as a communicator between China and the world[1] and has given talks at conferences about contemporary China and lectured at many top universities including Stanford[2] and Harvard and the University of Sydney.

Early in life she wanted to become a writer. At the age of 16 she had to start working in a factory instead of finishing her promising school career. During the decade at the factory she taught herself English.[3]

In 2003 she was able to attend Goldsmiths, University of London, England to study creative writing. Her articles have been published in many newspapers and magazines. She co-authored China Remembers (OUP, 1999) and her memoir 'Socialism is Great!' A Worker's Memoir of The New China,[4] is published by Atlas & Co. and Random House and has been translated into seven languages. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she served as a producer for the BBC crew reporting the games. She was the subject of a BBC TV documentary Peschardt's People. Sponsored by the US State Department, she was a fellow on the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in 2009.[5] Her first novel, Lotus, about prostitution set in modern day Shenzhen, was published in 2017.[6]

She is a regular guest on ABC, BBC and CNN. Zhang was married to Calum MacLeod, a reporter for USA Today. She currently lives in Beijing with her two daughters.[7]


  1. ^ Barnes, Nicole E. (June 10, 2008). "The China Beat".
  2. ^ ""Socialism is Great!": From Rocket Factory Girl to International Media". Stanford Center for East Asian Studies. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Kahn, Joseph (April 13, 2008). "Party Girl". New York Times.
  4. ^ ""Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China: Lijia Zhang: 9780977743377: Books".
  5. ^ "2009 IWP Participants". The University of Iowa. 2009. Archived from the original on October 9, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Zimmerman, Jean (January 10, 2017). "Earthy 'Lotus' Is A Fascinating Flower". NPR. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  7. ^ Zhang, Lijia. "About". Archived from the original on December 5, 2008.

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