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Jung Chang was born in Yibin, China, in 1952. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) she worked as a peasant, a 'barefoot' doctor, a steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English-language student and, later, an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by the University of York, where she obtained a PhD in Linguistics in 1982. Her award-winning memoir, Wild Swans, was published in 1991. Together with her husband Jon Halliday, she is the author of the biography: Mao: The Unknown Story.