Lijia Zhang (Zhang Lijia) (born in May 1, 1964 in Nanjing) is a writer, journalist and public speaker. She describes herself as a communicator between China and the world and has given talks at conferences about contemporary China and lectured at many top universities including Stanford and Harvard and the University of Sydney.
Early in life she wanted to become a writer. At the age of 16 she had to start working in a factory instead of finishing her promising school career. During the decade at the factory she taught herself English.
In 2003 she was able to attend Goldsmiths, University of London, England to study creative writing. Her articles have been published in many newspapers and magazines. She co-authored China Remembers (OUP, 1999) and her memoir 'Socialism is Great!' A Worker's Memoir of The New China, is published by Atlas & Co. and Random House and has been translated into seven languages. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she served as a producer for the BBC crew reporting the games. She was the subject of a BBC TV documentary Peschardt's People. Sponsored by the US State Department, she was a fellow on the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in 2009. Her first novel, Lotus, about prostitution set in modern day Shenzhen, was published in 2017.
She is a regular guest on ABC, BBC and CNN. Zhang was married to Calum MacLeod, a reporter for USA Today. She currently lives in Beijing with her two daughters.