Portrait of Jung Chang

Jung Chang

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.