Chinese-born British writer Jung Chang’s multigenerational memoir of China, Wild Swans, was the highest-selling non-fiction paperback ever published, translated into 30 languages and selling more than 10 million copies. Twenty-three years later, it’s still banned in China.
Chang’s 2005 biography of Chairman Mao, written with her husband Jon Halliday, courted further controversy with its negative portrayal of the Chinese leader.
Her new book Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China is a biography of the legendary woman who ruled China from behind the scenes for almost half a century, reforming it in the process – including banning foot-binding and forcing the nation out of its self-enforced isolation.
‘What makes reading this new biography so provocative are the similarities between the challenges faced by the Qing court a century ago and those confronting the Chinese Communist Party today,’ says the New York Times.
Jung Chang will appear in conversation with Australian author Toni Jordan.
Jung Chang is the internationally-bestselling author of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China; Mao: The Unknown Story (with Jon Halliday); and Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China. Her latest book is Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China.
Her books have been translated into over 40 languages and sold more than 15 million copies outside mainland China, where they are banned. She was born in China in 1952, and came to Britain in 1978. She lives in London.
Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international bestseller Addition (2008) was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Fall Girl (2010) was published internationally and has been optioned for film, while Nine Days (2012) was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and named in Kirkus Review’s Top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Her latest novel is Our Tiny, Useless Hearts (2016). Toni has been published widely in newspapers and magazines.