Lijia Zhang

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Lijia Zhang
Born (1964-05-12) May 12, 1964 (age 58)
Nanjing, China
OccupationWriter, journalist, public speaker
EducationGoldsmiths, University of London (MA)
Period1999 – present
Literary movementMemoir
Notable works"Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China

Lijia Zhang (Chinese: 张丽佳; pinyin: Zhāng Lìjiā; born May 12, 1964 in Nanjing) is a Chinese 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. She has given lectures at Stanford University, Harvard University, and the University of Sydney.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

As a child, Zhang wanted to become a writer. At the age of 16, she left school and began working in a factory. During the decade at the factory she taught herself English.[3] In 2003, she was able to attend Goldsmiths, University of London, where she earned a master's degree in creative writing.[4]


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,[5] was published by Atlas & Co. and Random House and has been translated into seven languages. During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, 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 United States Department of State, she was a fellow on the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in 2009.[6] Her first novel, Lotus, about prostitution set in modern day Shenzhen, was published in 2017.[7]

She is a regular guest on ABC, BBC and CNN.

Personal life[edit]

Zhang was married to Calum MacLeod, a British reporter for USA Today. In 2018, she moved from Beijing to London with her two daughters.[8][9]


  1. ^ Barnes, Nicole E. (June 10, 2008). "China Annals: Interview with Lijia Zhang". The China Beat. Retrieved October 13, 2020 – via Blogger.
  2. ^ ""Socialism is Great!": From Rocket Factory Girl to International Media". Stanford Center for East Asian Studies. October 27, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Kahn, Joseph (April 13, 2008). "Party Girl". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  4. ^ "A window into the new China: Lijia Zhang's 'Lotus' « Amitav Ghosh". Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Zhang, Lijia (April 17, 2008). "Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China: Lijia Zhang: 9780977743377. ISBN 978-0977743377.
  6. ^ "2009 IWP Participants". University of Iowa. 2009. Archived from the original on October 9, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  7. ^ Zimmerman, Jean (January 11, 2017). "Earthy 'Lotus' Is A Fascinating Flower". NPR. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  8. ^ Zhang, Lijia. "About". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  9. ^ "Zhang Lijia moves to London – China Speakers Bureau". Retrieved December 10, 2020.

External links[edit]