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Public Intellectuals in China: A Conversation with Zha Jianying

China Institute presents an interview with author Zha Jianying.

January 1, 1999 12:00am

Zha Jianying was born in Beijing in 1959 to a family of intellectuals (her father was a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). In 1978, she joined the first class of students at the newly reopened Peking University (now Beijing University). She holds master’s degrees in English and comparative literature, respectively from University of South Carolina and Columbia. Zha went back to China in 1987 and worked briefly for the New York Times Beijing office before returning to the States in 1989. From 1990 to 1995, she lived in Chicago. It was during this period that she began traveling between China and the U.S. to research her book, China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids and Bestsellers are Transforming a Culture (1996, New Press). In 2003, Zha was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction. Her newest book, Bashi Niandai Fangtanlu, is a collection of Chinese-language interviews with 11 prominent mainland intellectuals active in 1980s cultural circles.

Zha will be interviewed by Ken Smith, a noted critic for the Financial Times.

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