Jan Wong, Author and Globe & Mail Columnist

EVENT DATE: November 8, 2007
TOPIC: Beijing Confidential

Jan Wong was the much-acclaimed Beijing correspondent for the Globe and Mail from 1988 to 1994 – reporting on the tumultuous era of capitalist reforms under Deng Xiaoping.  Her first book, Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now, was named one of Time magazine’s top ten books of 1996 and remains banned in China.  She returned to China in 1999 to make a documentary and to research her second book, Jan Wong’s China: Reports from a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent.  It tells the story of China’s headlong rush to capitalism and offers insight into an ever changing country.

She first went to China in 1972 during the Cultural Revolution as one of only two Westerners to enrol at Beijing University.  She met and married the only American draft dodger from the Vietnam War in China.  During those six years in China, she learned fluent Mandarin and earned a degree in Chinese history.

Besides the Globe and Mail, Jan Wong has also written for The New York Times, The Gazette in Montreal, The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal.  She has received numerous prestigious awards for her reporting.  She is a graduate of McGill University, Beijing University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  She is a third-generation Canadian, born and raised in Montreal, and she lives with her family in Toronto.